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C- iT-"^=) J7. 10 









Fret not thyself because of the ungodly, neither be thou envious against 
the evil doers. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and be 
withered even as the green herb. Put thou thy trust in the Lord, an^ 
lx> doing good ; dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. 

Psalm xxxvii. i — 3 






Cl2i% 51.10 





^ ^ 







J, 11. N. 

'AJAubcr^ iSji.J 

A J 


The following work was written in the early part of last 
year, for Messrs. Rivington*s " Theological Library ;" but as 
it seemed, on its completion, little fitted for the objects with 
which that publication has been undertaken, it makes its 
appearance in an independent form. Some apology is due 
to the reader for the length of the introductory chapter, but 
it was intended as the opening of a more extensive under- 
taking. It may be added, to prevent mistake, that the 
theological works cited at the foot of the page, are referred 
to for the facts, rather than the opinions they contain; 
though some of them, as the " Defensio Fidei Nicenae," 
evince gifts, moral and intellectual, of so high a cast, as to 
render it a privilege to be allowed to sit at the feet of their 
authors, and to receive the words, whicli they have been, as 
it were, commissioned to deliver. 

lOcloler, 1853,] 


A VERY few words will suffice for the purpose of explain- 
ing in what respects the Third Edition of this Volume 
differs from those which preceded it. 

Its text has been relieved of some portion of the literary 
imperfections necessarily incident to a historical sketch, its 
author's first work, and written against time. 

Also, some additions have been made to the foot-notes. 
These are enclosed in brackets, many of them being merely 
references (under the abbreviation " Ath. Tr.") to his anno- 
tations on those theological Treatises of Athanasius, which 
he translated for the Oxford Library of the Fathers. 

A few longer Notes, for the most part extracted from 
other publications of his, form an Appendix. 

The Table of Contents, and the Chronological Table 
have both been enlarged. 

No change has been made any where affecting the 
opinions, sentiments, or speculations contained in tlie 
original edition, — though they are sometimes expressed 
with a boldness or decision which now displeases him ; — 
except that two sentences, which needlessly reflected on the 
modern Catholic Church, have, without hurting the context, 
been relegated to a place by themselves at the end of the 

Aprilt 187 1. 




^Sri.Tiotil.— The Churcli of Antioc/i .... 

I. Historical connexion of Arianism with ihc Anli- 

ochcne School r— 

Paulws. Bishop of Antioch, deposed for hcresj' , 

The Martyr Lucian. ...,,. 

His disciples the first Arians 

3. Judaism of Antioch ;^ 

Revival of the fortunes of the Jew .... 
Patronized by successive Emperors. 
Their influence upon the populace and the Schools 
of Syria .... ... 

3, Quarto-deer ma US :^ 

Of the Proconsulate 

Of Syria 

Of central Asia Minor 

Betraying or encouraging a Judaistic spirit , 

4. Judaizers indirectly leading to Arianism : — 

Mosaic rites 

C.erinthians and Ebioniies 

Nazarenes . 

Corroborative facts 


Table of Contents. 


Section II. — The Schools of the Sophists • • • • -S 

1 . Disputative skill of Arians : — 

As of Paulus of Samosata . • • • • 27 

And of the disciples of Aristotle .... 29 

2. Disputation cultivated in the Christian Schools r — 
Axioms taken from logic and mathematics • • 33 
School of Artemas. ..,.♦. 34 

3. Tradition losing force : — 

Contempt of predecessors , . # ' • • 3^ 
Symbol of faith indispensable . . • • • 36 
Unwillingness of the Church to impose it • • 36 

Section III. — The Church of Alexandria • • • 39 

1. Its missionary and political character : — . . 41 
Its local position ..••••• 41 

Its exoteric teaching .42 

Catechetical system 44 

Public preaching •45 

Relative influence of separate Gospel truths . . 46 
Example of Scripture to guide us . . • .46 

2. The Disciplina Arcani, or secret teaching : — 
Scripture the storehouse, not the organ of teaching. 50 
Nor Apologists an organ, as not authoritative . 51 
The secret teaching consistent with the rudimental. 53 
Not arbitrary, but an apostolical tradition . . 54 
Not derogatory to the authority of Scripture . • 55 
Terminating with the rise of the Councils • • 55 

3. The Allegorical method : — 

National with the Egyptians . . • • •57 
Adopted by Greek philosophy • • . •57 
Natural to the human mind . . • • . 57 

Familiar to inspired writers 58 

Scripture uses of it , 59 

Safeguards necessary, canons for its use. • • 60 
Caution of Scripture as to it . • • • .61 

Traditionary keys for it 62 

Alexandrian use of it . • • • • .62 

4. The Economy : — 

Used by Alexandrians in Scripture difficulties • 64 

Sanctioned by St, Paul .,.,-■ 65 

Exemplified by tlie Fathers 66 

Theory and dangcroasness of it . . . ,72 

As leading- to deceit 73 

Divine economies "74 

Scripture economies 76 

False economies 77 

5. The Dispensation of Paganism ;— 

Paganism in one aspect divine . . • •79 

As Found in Genesis and Job 81 

And so taught by the Fathers . . . . Sj 

Corollaries from this doctrine S4 

As regards infidelity and apostasy . . . . S5 

And tlie cultivation ot pagan literature . . , S6 

Abuse of Itie doctrine S7 

6. Platonism : — 

Its influence on the language of theology . . Sg 

Pagan tradition of a Trinity 90 

Platonic Trinity 90 

How far adopted by the School of Philo. . . 92 

By the Aiesandrlan Fathers 93 

Instances 94. 

Apology for them 95 

For Origcn 97 

Sbctioh IW.—Tlie Eclectic Sect IQD 

I. Its characteristics : — 

Its principle and origin , loi 

Ammonius. its founder 101 

Its connexion with neologism loj 

Its contrast with it 104 

Later than Origcn 107 

Though an excrescence of his school . . . iiiS 
a. Us un congeniality with Arianism :— 

As mystical ,,109 

As not dis putative , . . , . . ,i[a 

At not Judaic . , , 110 

AsPlaioninic ill 

X. Table of Cofiteiits. 


3. Its serviceableness to Arianism, as opposed to theo- 
logical mysteries 1 1 1 

And to formal dogmas, &c 113 

No historical evidence of its aiding Arianism . • 1 14 

Its success in Syria • 115 

Section V. — Sabellianism . • , , , .iid 

1. Its history : — 

Its characteristic doctrine 117 

In Proconsular Asia : Noetus. • • • • 1 1 7 

In Rome : Praxeas -iiy 

In Africa: Sabellius 118 

In Phrygia : Montanlsts. • . . , .118 

First form, Patripassian 121 

Second form, Emanative 1 24 

2. Its influence on the language of Catholics : — 

Of Dionysius of Alexandria 125 

Of Gregory of Neocaesarea 128 

On the use of the Homousion 129 

Recapitulation of the whole Chapter • • •130 



Section I. — On the principle of the formation and impo" 

sition of Creeds 133 

I. Knowledge of the Christian doctrine a privilege to 
be sought after : — 
As being not a subjective opinion, but the truth . 134 

And reserved and concealed by the early Church 

From reverence 

Unlike the present state of religion . , • 
Contrary temper of heresy : — 
For instance, in the Gnostics . • • • 
And still more, in the Arians . . • • 

Examples • 

Defenceless state of Catholics .... 





Table of Contents. 

. Text of Scripture not a sufficii 
revealed dogma : — 
Implicit faith .... 
Action of the intellect vipon it , 
The mind tranquillized thereby 
Attempted comprehensions 
Fail to secure the truth . 
And to make it a bond of fellowship 
Hence the necessity of Creeds, with ulial Hmitati 

liON \\.~The Scripture doctrine of the Trinity 
The position of the matter of evidence : — ■ 
In the Old Testament commenced . 
Completed in the New .... 
Inference to be made thence . . . 
The word Person ..... 

■■CTlox Ml.— The Ecclesiasticut doctrine of the Trii 

1, Our Lord considered as the Son of God ;— 
The term " Son" denotes His derivation. 
And therefore His dissimilarity to all c 
Passages from the Fathers 
He who is born of God is God 
In like manner He is " R.idiance from the Sun" 
Hence, on the other hand, a subordination of the 

Son lo the Father .... 
As explained by Bull .^nd Petavius. 
Ministration of the Son and Spirit . . 
Abuse of the term " Son" . . 

Leading lo materiality and ditheism 

2, Our Lord considered as the Word of God : — 

The term " Word" corrects ihe abuse of the term 
"Son," as teaching His co-eternity with God . 
And His office of mediation .... 
Passages from the Fathers .... 
Abuse of the term "Word" .... 

3, Our Lord considered " of God" and " in God :' 
Passages from the Fathers .... 
The " in God" is the " co-inherence " . 

xii. Table of Contents. 

Passages. . . . . • . . •174 
The "of God" is the " monarchia** • • 175 

Passages . , . . • • • • 177 

Section IV. — Variations in the Ante^Nicene Theological 

Statements 179 

1. The term ** Insrenerate: " — 

Applied to God ; whether to be predicated of the Son 181 
The Anomoean controversy . . • -c .181 

2. The " Unoriginate :'*— 

Whether to be predicated of the Son • . ,• 182 
Passages from the Fathers in illustration • • 183 

3. The " Consubstantial :" — 

The meaning of "substance" or "being" • • 185 
Of " Consubstantial " . . . , • .186 
Early use of the term . . . . • .187 

Doctrine of Emanation 189 

Imposed an heretical sense on the term , • .189 
The history of the term "offspring" . • .190 
Rejection of the term "consubstantial" by the 

Council against Paulus 192 

The Alexandrians keep it . . • • • 193 

4. The " voluntary generation :" — 

Its relation to the doctrine of Emanation • • 194 
How it was understood in relation to our Lord . 195 

5. The " Word Internal " or " External :"— 

A term of the Stoics and Platonists. . . .197 

Used by the Fathers 197 

The Word's change from Internal to External at 

the creation 198 

A kind of " generation" 199 

Five Fathers accused of a misconception t •199 
Passages from them in illustration . • a •199 

Section V .—The Arian Heresy 

I. Contrasted with other heterodox beliefs: 
As to its fundamental tenet 
With that of the Five Fathers. 




Table of Contents. 

• • • 


Viz. with that of the Eclectics • 
Of Gnosticism ..... 
Of Paulianism. .... 
And of Sabellianism . . • 
2. Its doctrine that: — 

What has an origin has a beginning 
What has a beginning is a creation 
What God willed to be is a creation 
What is not ingenerate is a creation 
What is material is a creation. 
** 0«/>' -begotten " means " immediately 
** Not one of the creatures " is " not 

creatures" . . . - . 
** Before all time " is "before all creation 
All titles admit of a secondary sense 

3. Its original documents : — 
Arius to Kusebius . 
Arius to Alexander . 
Arius's Thalia 
Eusebius to Paulinus • 
Alexander to Alexander 
Alexander's -Encyclical 

4. Its characteristic qualities 
Unscriptural . 
Rationalistic . 
Versatile . • • 
Shallow . . • 
Evasive . 
Flow met 2^ Nicsca • 














Table of Contents. 




Section I. — History of the Niccne Council 

1. History of Arius : — 

Before his heresy • . . • . 
Upon it 

2. Character and position of Constantine : — 
His view of Christianity .... 
His disappointment at its dissensions • 
His conduct towards the Donatists . • 
His wish for religious peace . • • 
His letter to Athanasius and Arius. • 
He convokes the Nicene Council • • 

3. Transactions of the Council : — 
Disputations ....•• 
Its selection of the test^ Homoiision . • 

Its creed 


Brought over .••••• 
Banishment of Arius • • • . 

Section II. — Consequences of the Nicene Cou7iciL 

1. TheArians: — 
Their political and party spirit . • 
Ingratiate themselves with Constantine • 
Their leaders, Eusebius of Nicomedia • 
And Eusebius of Caesarea 
Constantia, sister to Constantine 

2. The Catholics : — 
Successful at Nicaea . • 
Yet their prospects clouded 
Anus's restoration attempted by Constantine 
At Alexandria. 
At Constantinople . 
The prayers of Bishop Alexander 
Death of Arius. 













. 259 

. 260 

. 260 

• 261 
. 263 

. 265 

• 266 

• 266 

• 267 
. 268 

• 269 
. 270 



Ikction I. — The E-'scb%ans. 

I. Character of the Eusebjan leaders : — 

Acacius Z75 

George 275 

Leontius .■,.•..•■ 276 

Eudoxius I . 277 

V^cns 27S 

3, Their proceedings : — 

Against Eustalhiiis, &c 280 

They join the Meletians of Egypt .... 2S1 

Against Athanasius 2S2 

Hold Councils at Cxsarea and Tyre . . . 2S2 

And depose him 284 

I 3- Their Creeds : — 

Athanasius and other c\i)e^ at Rome . . . 2S5 

Roman Council 2S5 

Eusebian Council of the Dedication . . . 2SG 

Adopts the creed of Lucian zHd 

Its second, third, and fourth creeds. . . . 28; 

Its fifth creed, the Macrostich 287 

Great Council of Sardica 2S9 

Eusebians leaving it for Philippopolis . . . 2S9 

Acquits and restores .4thanaBius .... ago 

Retantalion of Valens and Ursaciu'i . • . 2gt 

i \h—The Scmi 

Its subtlety and indist 

Its symbol, the Homteiisioji 257 

It considered our Lord to be a true Son . . . 298 

Its self-con I I'adict ions 2gg 

f 3. Their leaders : — 

Men of high character 299 

Basil of Ancyra >,...«. 300 

Mark of Areihusa ^oi 

Cyril of Jeru-alcm 303 

XV i. Table of' Contents. 


Eusebius of Samosata ••..•• 302 
On the contrary, Macedonius, the Pneumato- 

machist ....... 303 

3. Their proceedings : — 

They start out as a party after Sardica . , 303 

" Opposed Ijy the Acacians . .... 304 

Acacian device of only Scripture terms , , , 305 

The Acacian Homoeoji ...... 306 

Section III. — The Athajiasians, 

' I. Paulus ofv Constantinople : — 

Banished and Martyred 311 

2. Lucius of Hadrianople : — 

Martyred. ........ 312 

3.- Eusebian Council of Sirmium : — 

Deposes Photinus • • 314 

4. • Persecution of the West. 

Eusebian Council of Aries . . . ; 314 

The orthodox Bishops excommunicate Athanasius . 315 
Fall of Vincent . . . . • . •315 

5. Eusebian Council of Milan; — 

Condemns Athanasius 3i(> 

Banishment of Dionysius 317 

Eusebius of Vercellae . • -317 

Hilary ...••• 318 

6. Proceedings against Pope Liberius : — 

His noble conduct 319 

His banishment . . .... 319 

He is tempted 321 

A comprehension of parties . • • • 321 

His fall 322 

He renounces Athanasius and signs a Eusebian 

creed 322 

He afterwards recovers himself .... 323 

7. Proceedings against Hosius v — 
Eusebian Creed offered for his acceptance . » 323 

His brave conduct • • 324 

Scourged and racked • 325 


Signs the creed 

Refuses to condemn Athanasius . . . . 

His repentance ■ . 

, Proceedings against Athanasius : — 
The Alexandrians prepare themselves for the trial , 
Recent sufferings . 
Encouraged by the Sardic 
George of Cappadcicia, the Eusebian Bishop . 
Irruption of Syrianus into the Church 
Escape of Athanasius .... 
Persecution of Egj-ptian Bishops and people 
Manifesto ot Coi 

r Acacians again 

tecTlON \\ .— The Anam'x.m 
I. Rise of the heresy ; — 

Eunomius . * 
a. Its history :^ 

They join the Euscbia 


At Qcsarea 

And Antiocli 

Semi-Arian Council at Ancyra 
Appeal of the two parties to Conslantius. 
The Emperor's changes of mind 
Preparation for an Ecumenical Council , 
Acacian Council of Seleucia . 
Acacian Council of Ariminum. . 
Triumph of Arianism throughout the world 
Disgrace of Aetius , . , . 

Death of Constantius .... 


H'lON I. — The Council of Alexandria in the reign of 

t. The question of the Arianizing Bishops x — 

lis difficulty 357 

lis solution 359 


Table of Contents. 

2. The question of the Succession at Antioch :■ 

Meletius • 

His confession of orthodoxy , 

Lucifer's interference 

Schism in consequence . 
3; The question of the hypostasis : — 

The term Hypostasis or Persona 

Whether three or one 

Differences among Catholics • 

Letter of the Council 

Section IL — The Ecumenical Council of Constantinople 
in the reign of Theodosius. 
I . Persecution under Valens : — 
End of the Semi-Arian heresy , , , 
The reconciliation of its Bishops to the Church 

2. Revival of orthodoxy at Constantinople : — 

Gregory Nazianzen. 

His proceeding there 

The Arians conform under Theodosius 

His perplexities . . • 

Opposition made to him . • 

He resolves to retire . • 

His enthronization , . • 

His disgust with all parties • 

3. The Ecumenical Council : — 
The business before it 
Death of its President Meletius 
Its proceedings . • . 
Resignation of Gregory . , 
Its creed . • . . • 













Chronological Tablis • 


Table of Contents. 



MoTB 1, The S^-rian School of Theology . 

2, The early doctrine of the divine genne^ 

3, The Confessions at Sinnium 

4, The early use of usLi and hypostasis . 

5, Orthodoxy of the faithful during Arianism 

6, Chronology of the Councils. 

7, Omissions in the text of the Third Edition 


. 469 
• 474 

4 f 






It is proposed in the following pages to trace tlie 
outlines of the history of Arianism, between the fii-st 
and the second General Councils. These are its 
natural chronological limits, whether by Arianism wc 
mean a heresy or a party in the Church. In the 
Council held at NicEea, in Eithynia, A.D. 325, it was 
brmally detected and condemned. In the subsequent 
s it ran its course, through various modifications 
r opinion, and with various success, till the date of 
be second Genera! Council, held A.D. 3S1, at Constan- 
lople, when tiie resources of heretical subtilty being 
t length exhausted, the Arian party was ejected from 
be Catholic body, and formed into a distinct sect, 
xterior to it. It is during this period, while it ■ 
aintained ils hold upon the creeds and Uic g' 

2 The Chtirch of AntiocJu [chap. i. 

ment of the Church, that it especially invites the 
attention of the student in ecclesiastical history. 
Afterwards, Arianism presents nothing new in its 
doctrine, and is only remarkable as becoming the 
animating principle of a second series of persecutions, 
when the barbarians of the North, who were infected 
with it, possessed themselves of the provinces of the 
Roman Empire. 

The line of history which is thus limited by the two 
first Ecumenical Councils, will be found to pass 
through a variety of others, provincial and patriarchal, 
which form easy and intelligible breaks in it, and pre- 
sent tb;- heretical doctrine in the various stages of its 
impiety. These, accordingly, shall be taken as car- 
dinal points for our narrative to rest upon ; — and it 
will matter little in the result, whether it be called a 
history of the Councils, or of Arianism, between the 
eras already marked out. 

However, it is necessary to direct the reader's atten- 
tion in the first place, to the state of parties and 
schools, in and about the Church, at the time of its 
rise, and to the sacred doctrine which it assailed, m 
order to obtain a due insight into the history of the 
controversy ; and the discussions which these subjects 
involve, will occupy a considerable portion of the 
vblume. I shall address myself without delay to this, 
work ; and, in this chapter, propose first to obsei-ve 
upon the connexion of Arianism with the Church of 
Antioch, and upon the state and genius of that Church 
in primitive times. This shall be the subject of the 
present section : in those which follov/, I shall consider 
its relation towards the heathen philosophies and 
heresies then prevalent ; and towards the Church of 
Alexandria, to which, thaugh with very Uttle show of 

Tim Chitrch of Antioch. 

reasoning, it is often referred. The consideration of 
the doctrine of the Trinity shall form the second 
I chapter. 

During the third century, the Church of Antioch 
was more or less acknowledged as the metropolis of 
Syria, Cilicia, Phoenicia, Comagene, Osrhocne, and 
Mesopotamia, in which provinces it afterwards held 
patriarchal sway'. It had been the original centre of 
Apostolical missions amongtheheathcn^; and claimed 
St. Peter himself for its first bishop, who had been 
succeeded by Ignatius, Thcophiius, Babylas, and others 
of sacred memory in the universal Church, as cham- 
pions and martyrF. of the faith^. The secular impor- 
tance of the city added to the influence which accrued 
to it from the religious associations thus connected 
with its name, especially when the Emperors made 
Syria the seat of their government. This ancient and 
celebrated Church, however, is painfully conspicuous 
in the middle of the century, as affording so open a 
manifestation of the spirit of Antichrist, as to fulfil 
almost lilerally the prophecy of the Apostle in hi.s 
second Epistle to the Thessalonians*. Paulus, of 
Samosata, who was raised to the see of Antioch not 
many years af^er the martyrdom of Babylas, after 
Ibolding the episcopate for ten years, was deposed by 
fa Council of eastern bishops, held in that city a.d. 
' 272. on the ground of his heretical notions concerning 
the nature of Christ His original calling seems to 
have been that of a sophists ; how he obtained admit- 

4 The Church of Antioch. [chap. i. 

tance into the clerical order is unknown; his elevation, 
or at least his continuance in the see, he owed to the 
celebrated Zenobia^, to whom his literary attainments, 
and his political talents, may be supposed to have 
recommended him. Whatever were the personal vir- 
tues of the Queen of the East, who is said to have 
been a Jewess by birth or creed, it is not surprising 
that she was little solicitous for the credit or influence 
of the Christian Church within her dominions. The 
character of Paulus is consigned to history in the 
Synodal Letter of the bishops, written at the time of 
his condemnation^ ; which, being circulated through 
the Church, might fairly be trusted, even though the 
high names of Gregory of Neocaesarea and Firmilian 
were not found in the number of his judges. He is 
therein charged with a rapacity, an arrogance, a vulgar 
ostentation and desire of popularity, an extraordinary 
profaneness, and a profligacy, which cannot but reflect 
seriously upon the Church and clergy which elected, 
and so long endured him. As to his heresy, it is 
difficult to determine what were his precise sentiments 
concerning the Person of Christ, though they were 
certainly derogatory of the doctrine of His absolute 
divinity and eternal existence. Indeed, it is probable 
that he had not any clear view on the solemn subject 
on which he allowed himself to speculate ; nor had 
any wish to make proselytes, and form a party in the 

• He was raised to the episcopate at the commencement of Odenatus's 
successes against Sapor (Tillemont, Mem. vol. iv. Chronol.). In the 
years which followed, he held a civil magistracy with his ecclesiastical 
dignity; in the temporalities of which, moreover, he was upheld by 
Zenobia, some years after his formal deposition by the neighboufing 
bishops. (Basnag. Annal. a.d. 269, § 6.) 

' Euscb. Hist. vii. 30 

CliurcliS. Ancient writers inform us that his heresy 
L was a kind of Judaism in doctrine, adopted to please 
I his Jewish patroness^; and, if originating in this 
motive, it was not Hkely to be very systematic or pro- 
found. His habits, too, as a sophist, would dispose 
him to employ himself in attacks upon the Catholic 
doctrine, and in irregular discussion, rather than in the 
sijicere effort to obtain some definite conclusions, to 
satisfy his own mind or convince others. And the 
supercilious spirit, which the Synodal letter describes 
as leading him to express contempt for the divines 
who preceded him at Antioch, would naturally occa- 
sion incaution in his theories, and a carelessness about 
guarding them from inconsistencies, even where he 
perceived them. Indeed, the Primate of Syria had 
already obtained the highest post to which ambition 
could aspire, and had nothing to labour for ; and 
I having, as we find, additional engagements as a civil 
magistrate, he would still less be likely to covet the 
barren honours of an heresiarch. A sect, it is true, 
was formed upon his tenets, and called after his name, 
and has a place in ecclesiastical history till the middle 
of the fifth century ; but it never was a considerable 
body, and even as early as the date of the Nicene 
Council had split into parties, differing by various 
sfaades of heresy from the orthodox faith'. We shail 
■Jiave a more correct notion, then, of the heresy of 

• Mosheira, dc Bcb. anie Ginsi. f .(;. r 
Paulus. vide Aihan. Tr. p, i;;.] 

• Alhan. Epist. ad Monachos, ( ;i. Thei 
Jcttrn. Horn. 7, bui Philasir. Mar. { f>4, sav^ 

> TillenlDnt, Mem. toL :;. p. i tttM 

6 The Church of Aiiiioch, [chap. i. 

Paulus, if we consider him as the founder of a school 
rather than of a sect, as encouraging in the Church the 
use of those disputations and sceptical inquiries, which 
belonged to the Academy and other heathen philoso- 
phies, and as scattering up and down the seeds of 
errors, which sprang up and bore fruit in the genera- 
tion after him. In confirmation of this view, which is 
suggested by his original vocation, by the temporal 
motives which are said to have influenced him, and by 
his inconsistencies, it may be observed, that his inti- 
mate friend and fellow-countryman, Lucian, who 
schismatized or was excommunicated on his deposi- 
tion, held heretical tenets of a diametrically opposite 
nature, that is, such as were aftenvards called Semi- 
Arian, Paulus himself advocating a doctrine which 
nearly resembled what is commonly called the Sa- 

More shall be said concerning Paulus of Samosata 
presently ; but now let us advance to the history of 
;his Lucian, a man of learning^, and at length a 
martyr, but who may almost be considered the author 
of Arianism. It is very common, though evidently 
illogical, to attribute the actual rise of one school of 
opinion to another, from some real or supposed simi- 
larity in their respective tenets. It is thus, for 
instance, Platonism, or again, Origenism, has been 
assigned as the actual source from which Arianism 
was derived. Now, Lucian's doctrine is known to 
have been precisely the same as that species of Ari- 

' He was distinguished in biblical literature, as being the author of a 
third edition of the Septuagint. Vide Tillomont, Mem. vol. v. p. 202, 
203. Du Pin, cent. iii. 

SECT. 1.1 

The Church of Aniiock. 


anism afteiwards called Semi- A nanism 3 ; but it is not 
on that account that I here trace the rise of Arianism 
to Lucian. There is an historical, and not merely a 
iloctrinal connexion between him and the Arian party. 
In his school are found, in matter of fact, the names 
of most of the original advocates of Arianism, and all 
those who were the most influential in their respective 
Churches throughout the East : — Arius himself, Euse- 
oiusof Nicomedia, Leontius, Eudoxins, Asterius, and 
others, who will be familiar to us in the sequel ; and 
these men actually appealed to him as their authority, 
and adopted from him tlic party designation of Collu- 
cianists''. In spite of this undoubted connexion 
between Lucian and the Arians, we might be tempted 
to believe, that the assertions of the latter concerning 
his heterodoxy, originated in their wish to implicate 
man of high character in the censures which the 
rch directed against themselves, were it not undc- 
ible, that during the times of the three bishops who 
lessively followed Paulus, Lucian was under ex- 
conimunication. The Catholics too, are silent in his 
vindication, and some of them actually admit his 
unsoundness in faith^. However, ten or fifteen years 
before his martyrdom, he was reconciled to the 

■ Bull, Baronius, and otheis, mainUio bis onhodoi)'. The Scmi- 
Aiians ajlopted his creed, which is extanl. Though a rHend, at it 
ji)ilMa(s. uf Paulas, he oppOKiI ihe SabclIIans (by >">' *>' whom he wal 
a! Ifngth bciiayed lo the heathen peisecuturs of the Chuicb), ami this 
■ippuAilKin WDuid lead him to incautious slatcmcnts of an Anan tendency. 
Vtfte belixr. Section i. Epiphanias (Ancor. 33) tc1l« us, that he cuii- 
^dctcd the Word id the Person of Christ as the subsiiiuie for a human 

• Thcod. Hist, i, J. Epiph. Usr. Uix.(>. Caic, lloL L.Uioi. iiA. L, 
p. ta>. 

» Tbwd. Hi«. i. 4. 

8 The Church of Antioch, [^ciiap. i. 

Church ; and we may suppose that he then recanted 
whatever was heretical in his creed : and his glorious 
end was allowed to wipe out from the recollection of 
Catholics of succeeding times those passages of his 
history, which nevertheless were so miserable in their 
results in the age succeeding his own. Chrysostom's 
panegyric on the festival of his martyrdom is still 
extant, Ruffinus mentions him in honourable terms, 
and Jerome praises his industry, erudition, and elo- 
quence in writing^. 

Such is the historical connexion at the very first 
sight between the Arian party and the school of An- 
tioch7 : corroborative evidence will hereafter appear, 
in the similarity of character which exists between the 
two bodies. At present, let it be taken as a confir- 
mation of a fact, which Lucian's history directly 
proves, that Eusebius the historian, who is suspected 
of Arianism, and his friend Paulinus of Tyre, one of 
its first and principal supporters, though not pupils of 
Lucian, were more or less educated, and the latter 
ordained at Antioch^ ; while in addition to the Arian 
bishops at Nicaea already mentioned, Theodotus of 
Laodicea, Gregory of Berytus, Narcissus of Neronias, 
and two others, who were all supporters of Arianism 
at the Council, were all situated within the ecclesias- 
tical influence, and some of them in the vicinity of 
Antioch^ ; so that (besides Arius himself), of thirteen, 
who according to Theodoret, arianized at the Council, 
nine are referable to the Syrian patriarchate. If we 
continue the history of the controversy, we have fresh 


« Vide Tillemont, Mem. vol. v. ' [Vide Appendix, Syrian School,'] 
" Vales, de Vit. Euseb. et ad Hist. x. i. 
• Tillemont, Mem. vol. vi. p. 276. 

The Church of AnHoch. 

■^evidence of the connexion between Antioch and Ari- 
aotsm. During the interval between the Nicene 
Council and the death of Constantius (A.D. 325- — 361), 
Antioch is the metropolis of the heretical, as Alexan- 
dria of the orthodox party. At Antioch, the heresy 
recommenced its attack upon the Church after tlie 
decision at Niceea. In a Council held at Antioch, it 
first showed itself in the shape of S em i-A nanism, 
when Lucian's creed was produced. There, too, in 
this and subsequent Councils, negotiations on the doc- 
trine in dispute were conducted witJi the Western 
Church. At Antioch, lastly, and at Tjre, a suffragan 
see, the sentence of condemnation ivas pronounced 
upon Athanasius. 

Hitherto I Itave spoken of individuals as the auUiora 
of the apostasy which is to engage our attention in the 
following chapters ; but tliere is reason to fear that 
men like Faulus were but symptoms of a corrupted 
state of the Churcli. The history of the times gives 
us sufiicicnt evidence of the luxuriousncss of Antiocli ; 
and it need scarcely be said, that coldness in faith is 
the sure consequence of relaxation of morals'. Here, 
however, passing by this consideration, which is too 
obvious to require dwelling upon, I would rather direct 
the reader's attention to the particular form which the 
Antiochene corruptions seem to have assumed, viz., 
^_.Stiat of Judaism^; which at that time, it must be 

^^^^r* [^4e a lemukablc pasoage in Ongco. on ihc pomp trf the BUkji* 
^^^Hpbb dar> 9oi>*c4 tr Ncanilci, ilie. lol. ii. |i. 33a, Bohn.] 
^^^^^ ^^Bpib, dc Efhiam. S^r. p, 64. tiaca die litaal imoprtullMi, 
^^^EUA wat Ot cbajanciiaic of ihc k±k»I «i Aniiodi, i« ihc cunifil* «( 

lo The Church of Antioch, [chap. i. 

recollected, was the creed of an existing nation, 
acting upon the Church, and not merely, as at this 
day, a system of opinions more or less discoverable 
among professing Christians. 

The fortunes of the Jewish people had experienced 
a favourable change since the reign of Hadrian. The 
violence of Roman persecution had been directed 
against the Christian Church ; while the Jews, 
gradually recovering their strength, and obtaining 
permission to settle and make proselytes to their 
creed, at length became an influential political body 
in the neighbourhood of their ancient home, especially 
in the Syrian provinces which were at that time the 
chief residence of the court. Severus (A.D. 194) is 
said to have been the first to extend to them the 
imperial favour, though he afterwards withdrew it. 
Heliogabalus, and Alexander, natives of Syria, gave 
them new privileges ; and the latter went so far as to 
place the image of Abraham in his private chapel, 
among the objects of his ordinary worship. Philip 
the Arabian continued towards them a countenance, 
which was converted into an open patronage m "the 
reign of Zenobia. During the Decian persecution, 
they had been sufficiently secure at Carthage, to 
venture to take part in the popular ridicule which the 
Christians excited ; and they are even said to have 
stimulated Valerian to his cruelties towards the 

But this direct hostility was not the only, nor the 
most formidable means of harassing their religious 
enemies, which their improving fortunes opened upon 
them. With their advancement in wealth and im- 

' Basnage, Hist, dcs Juifs, vi. I2« Tillemont, Hist, des Empcr. iii. iv. 

S6cT, !.] Tltc Church of Antioch. 

portance, their national character displayed itself 
under a new exterior. The morosencss for which 
they were previously notorious, in great measure dis- 
appears with their dislodgment from the soil of their 
ancestors ; and on their re-appearance as settlers in a 
strange land, those festive, sclf-indulgcnt habits, 
which, in earlier times, had but drawn on them the 
animadversion of their Prophets, became their dis- 
tinguishing mark in the eyes of external observers'*. 
Manifisting a rancorous malevolence towards the 
oalous champions of the Church, they courted the 
I Christian populace by arts adapted to captivate and 
L corrupt the unstable and worldly-minded. Their prc- 
^Mtnsions to magical power gained them credit with the 
^^MKrstitious, to whom they sold amulets for the cure 
^^■F diseases ; their noisy spectacles attracted the 
^^vuriosity of the idle, who weakened their faith, while 
thty disgraced their profession, by attending the 
worship of the Synagogue. Accordingly there was 
around the Church a mixed multitude, who, 
relinquishing their dependence on Christi- 
for the next world, sought in Judaism the 
e of temporal blessings, and a more accommo- 
rule of life than the gospel revealed. Chrysos- 
ind this evil so urgent at Antioch in his day. as 
itemtpt his course of homilies on the heresy of the 
>mceans, in order to direct his preaching against 
seductions to which his hearers were then exposed, 
return of the Jewish festivals*. In another 

b Gibbtni, HiM. ch. Kvi. note 6. Chiywu. in Juilon*. i. p. 386— 

. in laixoi. i. p 389, «e- jjooroc ipcaks M a law nl 

12 The Church of Antioch. [chap. i. 

part of the empire, the Council of Illiberls found it 
necessary to forbid a superstitious custom, which had 
been introduced among the country people, of having 
recourse to the Jews for a blessing on their fields. 
Afterwards, Constantine made a law against the inter- 
marriage of Jews and Christians ; and Constantius 
confiscated the goods of Christians who lapsed to 
Judaism^. These successive enactments may be 
taken as evidence of the view entertained by the 
Church of her own danger, from the artifices of the 
Jews. Lastly, the attempt to rebuild the temple in 
Julian's reign, was but the renewal of a project on 
their part, which Constantine had already frustrated, 
for reinstating their religion in its ancient ritual and 
•country 7. 

Such was the position of the Jews towards the 
primitive Church, especially in the patriarchate of 
Antioch ; which, I have said, was their principal place 
of settlement, and was at one time under the civil 
government of a Judaizing princess, the most illus- 
trious personage of her times, who possessed influence 
enough over the Christian body to seduce the Metro- 
politan himself from the orthodox faith. 

But the evidence of the existence of Judaism, as a 
system, in the portion of Christendom in question, is 

^ Bingham, Antiq. xvi. 6. Basnage, Hist, des Juifs, vi. 14. 

7 Chrysost, in Judaeos, iii. p. 435. [Vide Chrysost. in Matth. Horn, 43, 
where he says that in Julian's time, " they ranged themselves with the 
heathen and courted their party." He proceeds to say that " in all their 
other evil works they surpass their predecessors, in sorceries, magic arts, 
impurities.*' Oxford TransL] 

. I.] Tiu Ckitrck of Antioch. 

contained in a circumstance which deserves oui par- 
ticular attention ; the adoption, in those parts, of tht- 
quarto deciman rule of obsei-ving Easter, when it was 
on the point of being discontinued in the Churches of 
Proconsular Asia, where it had first prevailed. 

It is well known that at the close of the second 
century, a controversy arose between Victor, Bishop 
of Rome, and Polycratcs, Bishop of Ephesus, con- 
cerning the proper time for celebrating the Easter 
feast, or rather for terminating the ante-paschal fast. 
At that time the whole of Christendom, with the 
exception of Proconsular Asia (a district of about 
two hundred miles by fifty), and its immediate neigh- 
bourhoodS, continued the fast on to the Sunday after 
the Jewish Passover, whicli they kept as Easter Day 
as we do now, in order that the weekly and yearly 
commemorations of the Resurrection might coincide. 
But the Christians of the Proconsulate, guided by 
Jewish custom, ended tlie fast on the very day of 
the paschal sacrifice, without regarding the actual 
place held in the week by the feast, which imme- 
diately followed; and were accordingly called Quarto- 
decimans^, Victor felt the inconvenience of this 
M-ant of uniformity in the celebration of the chief 
Christian festival ; and was urgent, even far beyond 
tlie bounds of charity, and the rights of his see, in his 
endeavour to obtain the compliance of the Asiatics. 
I'olycrates, who M'as primate of the Ouarto-deciman 
Churches, defended their peculiar custom by a state- 
ment which is plain and unexceptionable. They had 
received llieir rule, he said, from St John aiid St. 

• Eusct. Hisr V. 13-- ij, anil ValcE. a 

• ExhI. X". 6. Vidt TillLmunl, SItm, 

14 The Church of Antioch. [chap. I. 

Philip the Apostles, Polycarp of Smyrna, Melito of 
Sardis, and others ; and deemed it incumbent on 
them to transmit as they had received. There was 
nothing Judaistic in this conduct ; for, though the 
Apostles intended the Jewish discipline to cease with 
those converts who were born under it, yet it was by 
no means clear, that its calendar came under the 
proscription of its rites. On the other hand, it was 
natural that the Asian Churches should be affection- 
ately attached to a custom which their first founders, 
and they inspired teachers, had sanctioned. 

But the case was very different, when Churches, 
which had for centuries observed the Gentile rule, 
adopted a custom which at the time had only exis- 
tence among the Jews. The Quarto-decimans of the 
Proconsulate had come to an end by A.D. 276 ; and, 
up to that date, the Antiochene provinces kept their 
Easter feast in conformity with the Catholic usage' ; 
yet, at the time of the Nicene Council (fifty years 
afterwards), we find the Antiochenes the especial and 
solitary champions of the Jewish rule 2. We can 
scarcely doubt that they adopted it in imitation of the 
Jews who were settled among them, who are known 
to have influenced them, and who about that very 
date, be it observed, had a patroness in Zenobia, and, 
what was stranger, had almost a convert in the person 
of the Christian Primate. There is evidence, more- 
over, of the actual growth of the custom in the 
Patriarchate at the end of the third century ; which 

* Tillemont, Mem. vol. iii. p. 48, who conjectures that Anatolius of 
Laodicea was the author of the change. But changes require predispos- 
ing causes. 

• Athan. ad Afros, { 3. 

SECT. I.] The Church of Antioch. 

well agrees with the hypothesis of its being an iiino- 
x^ation, and not founded on ancient usage. And again 
{as was natural, supposing the change to begin at 
Antioch), at the date of the Nicene Council, it was 
established only in tlie Syrian Churches, and was but 
making its way with incomplete success in the ex- 
tremities of the Patriarchate. In Mesopotamia, 
Audius began his schism with the characteristic of 
the Quarto-deciman rule, just at the date of the 
Council^ ; and about the same time, Cilicia was con- 
tested between the two parties, as I gather from the 
conflicting statements of Constantine and Athanasius, 
that it did, and that it did not, conform to the Gentile 
custom''. By the same time, the controversy had 
reached Egypt also. Epiphanius refers to a celebrated, 
contest, now totally unknown, between one Crescentius 
and Alexander, the first defender of the Catholic faith 
against Arianism^. 

It is true that there was a third Quarto-deciman 
school, lying geographically between the Proconsulate 
anrt Antioch, which at first sight mii^ht seem to have 
been the medium by which the Jewish custom was 
conveyed on from the former to the latter; but there 
is no evidence of its existence till the end of the fourth 
century. In order to complete my account of the 
Quarto-decimans, and show more fully their relation 
to the Judaizers, I will here make mention of it ; 
though, in doing so, I must somewhat digress from 
the main subject under consideration. 

. • Epiph. H«r. Ixi. I I. . 

• AthHn. ait Afios. tupia. Siicr. Hisl. i. i>, where, by Ihc bjr, (ho 
PrOConiulMe i« tp.ikrn uf ai confaimlng (o the gcneial u«a{|;e) sou 
rileailj' l<> rii«lingui^h bclicceo fh; liro Quajta-Hcciman schooU. 

* Epiph. ibid, i g. 

1 6 The Church of Antioch. [chap. i. 

. The portion of Asia Minor, lying between the Pro- 
consulate and the river Halys, may be regarded, in 
the Ante-Nicene times, as one country, comprising 
the provinces of Phrygia, Galatia, Cappadocia, and 
Paphlagonia, afterwards included within the Exarchate 
of Caesarea ; and was then marked by a religious 
character of a peculiar cast. Socrates, speaking of 
this district, informs us, that its inhabitants were dis- 
tinguished above other nations by a strictness and 
seriousness of manners, having neither the ferocity of 
the Scythians and Thracians, nor the frivolity and 
sensuality of the Orientals^. The excellent qualities, 
however, implied in this description, were tarnished 
by the love of singularity, the spirit of insubordination 
and separatism, and the gloomy spiritual pride which 
their history evidences. St. Paul's Epistle furnishes us 
with the first specimen of this unchristian temper, as 
evinced in the conduct of the Galatians7, who, dis- 
satisfied with the exact evangelical doctrine, aspired 
to some higher and more availing system than the 
Apostle preached to them. What the Galatians were 
in the first century, Montanus and Novatian became 
in the second and third ; both authors of a harsh and 
arrogant discipline, both natives of the country in 
question^, and both meeting with special success in 
that country, although the schism of the latter was 
organized at Rome, of which Church he was a pres- 
byter. It was, moreover, the peculiarity, more or less, 
of both Montanists and Novatians in those parts, to 
differ from the general Church as to the time of 

• Socrat. Hist. iv. 28, cf, Epiph. Haer. xlviii. 14 [and xlvii. i]. 

"^ [Jerome calls the Galatians ** ad intelligentiam tardiores, vecordes," 
and speaks of their ** stoliditas barbara," in Galat. lib, ii. prfff.] 

* Vnl.s, ad loc. Sccr. [Philoxtorg. viii. 15.] 

«cr. I.] The Church of AntiocL ty 

observing Easter^; whereas, neither in Africa nor in 
: did the hvo sects dissent from the received 
What was the principle or origin of this 
^ularitj', does not clearly appear ; unless we may 
rtsidcr as characteristic, what seems to be the fact, 
i when their neighbours of the Proconsulate were 
iiarto-decimans, they (in the words of Socrates) 
^rank from feasting on the Jewish festival^," and 
iter tlie others had conformed to the Gentile rule, 
r, on thecontrary, openly judaized3. Tiiischange 
m their practice, which took place at the end of the 
fourtli century, was mainly effected by a Jew, of the 
name of Sabbatius, who becoming a convert to Chris- 
tianity, rose to the episcopate in the Novatian Church. 
Sozomen, in giving an account of the transaction, 
observes that it was a national custom with the 
Galatians and Phrygians to judaize in their observance 
of Easter. Coupling this remark with Eusebius's 
niention of Churches in the neighbourhood of the 
Proconsulate, as included among the Ouarto-dccimans 
whom Victor condemned"*, we may suspect that the 
pcr^'erse spirit which St. Paul reproves in his Epistle, 
and which we have been tracing in its Montanistic 
3id Novatian varieties, still lurked in those parts in 
•Is Original judaizing form, till after a course of years 
•' Was accidentally brought out by circumstancci 
"pon the public scene of ecclesiastical history. If 
lurther evidence of the connexion of the Quarto- 

P* Bocrai. Mist v. > 
f' TertoU. de Jejuii. 14, Valra. ad Sozom. * 
? Valenui ad. Inc. applies ihis dlfTerenity. 

1 8 The Cktcrch of Antioch. [chap, l 

deciman usage with Judaism be required, I may refer 
to Constantine's Nicene Edict, which forbids it, among 
other reasons, on the ground of its being Jewish^. 

The evidence, which has been adduced for the exis- 
tence of Judaism in the Church of Antioch, is not 
without its bearing upon the history of the rise of 
Arianism. I will not say that the Arian doctrine is 
the direct result of a judaizing practice ; but it 
deserves consideration whether a tendency to dero- 
gate from the honour due to Christ, was not created 
by an observance of the Jewish rites, and much more, 
by that carnal, self-indulgent religion, which seems at 
that time to have prevailed in the rejected nation. 
When the spirit and morals of a people are materially 
debased, varieties of doctrinal error spring up, as if 
self-sown, and are rapidly propagated. While Judaism 
inculcated a superstitious, or even idolatrous depen- 
dence on the mere casualties of daily life, and gave 
license to the grosser tastes of human nature, it 
necessarily indisposed the mind for the severe and 
unexciting mysteries, the large indefinite promises, 
and the remote sanctions, of the Catholic faith ; which 
fell as cold and uninviting on the depraved imagina- 
tion, as the doctrines of the Divine Unity and of 
implicit trust in the unseen God, on the minds of the 
early Israelites. Those who were not constrained 
by the message of mercy, had time attentively to 
consider the intellectual difficulties which were the 
medium of its communication, and heard but " a hard 
saying " in what was sent from heaven as ** tidings of 

* 'nieod. Hist. i. lo. 

great joy." " The mind," says Hooker, " feeling 
fHracnt joy, is always marvellously unwilling to admit 
any other cogitation, and in that case, casteth off 
those disputes wiiereunto the intellectual part at other 
times easily draweth, , . The people that are said in 
the sixth of John to have gone after our Lord to 
Capernaum . , leaving Him on the one side of the 
sea of Tiberias, and finding Him again as soon as 
ihey tlicmselves by ship were arrived on the contrary 
sitie . , as they wondered, so they asked also, ' Rabbi, 
when earnest Thou hither?' The Disciples, when 
Christ appeared to them in a far more strange and 
miraculous manner, moved no question, but rejoiced 
greatly in what they saw . . The one, because they 
enjoyed not, disputed ; the other disputed not, because 
they enjoyed^-" 

It is also a question, whether the mere performance 
of the rites of the Law, of which Christ came as anti- 
type and repealer, iias not a tendency to withdraw the 
•nind from the contemplation of the more glorious antj 
real images of the Gospel ; so that the Christians of 
Antioch would diminish their reverence towards the 
tnie Saviour of man, in proportion as they trusted to 
"■e media of worship provided for a time by thp 
Mosaic ritual. It is this consideration which ac> 
counts for the energy with which the great Apostle 
^<*tnbats the adoption of the Jewish ordinances by 
"W Christians of Galatia, and which might seem 
~ ssive, till vindicated by events subsequent to his 
In the Epistle addressed to them, the 

20 Tfie Church of Antioch. [chaI?. I. 

Judaizcrs are described as men labouring under an 
irrational fascination, fallen from grace, and self- 
excluded from the Christian privileges^ ; when in 
appearance they were but using, what on the one 
hand might be called mere external forms, and on 
the other, had actually been delivered to the Jews on 
Divine authority. Some light is thrown upon the 
subject by the Epistle to the Hebrews, in which it is 
implied throughout, that the Jewish rites, after their 
Antitype was come, did but conceal from the eye of 
faith His divinity, sovereignty, and all-sufficiency. If 
we turn to the history of the Church, we seem to see 
the evils in actual existence, which the Apostle antici- 
pated in prophecy; that is, we see, that in the obsolete 
furniture of the Jewish ceremonial, there was in fact 
retained the pestilence of Jewish unbelief, tending 
(whether directly or not, at least eventually) to intro- 
duce fundamental error respecting the Person of Christ 
Before the end of the first century, this result is 
disclosed in the system of the Cerinthians and the 
Ebionites. These sects, though more or less infected 
with Gnosticism, were of Jewish origin, and observed 
the Mosaic Law ; and whatever might be the minute 
peculiarities of their doctrinal views, they also agreed 
in entertaining Jewish rather than Gnostic conceptions 
of the Person of Christ^. Ebion, especially, is charac- 
terised by his Humanitarian creed ; while on the other 
hand, his Judaism was so notorious, that Tertullian 
does not scruple to describe him as virtually the object 
of the Apostle's censure in his Epistle to the Gala- 

■ Socrat. Hist. v. M. 

• Burton, Bamp. Lect, notes 74. 82. 

^ TertuU de Prapscrlpt. Haeret. c. 33, p. 443# 

SECT. 1-3 The Church of Aiiiiofh. 

The Nazarencs are next to be noticed ; — not for the 
influence they exercised on the belief of Christians. 
but as evidencing, with the sects just mentioned, the 
latent connection between a jiidaizing discipline and 
heresy in doctrine. Who tliey were, and what their 
lenels, has been a subject of much controversy. It is 
suflicient for my purpose — and so far is undoubted — 
that they were at the same time "zealous of the Law" 
and uniound in their theology^ ; and this without 
being related to the Gnostic families : a circumstance 
which establishes them as a more cogent evidence 
of the real connexion of ritual with doctrinal Judaism 
than is furnished by the mixed theologies of Ebion 
and Cerinthus', It is worth observing that their 
declension from orthodoxy appears to have been 
gradual; Epiphanius is the first writer who includes 
them by name in the number of heretical sects*. 

* Bunon, Bompt. Lcci., nute S\. 

* For the curiouE in ecclcsiaslical antiquity, Mosheim has elicited the 
lOUowiDg: account of Ihcir name and sect (Mosheim 6c Heb. Christ, ante 
Conslant, Sa-cul. ii. { ,^8, 311]. llie title of Nazarene he considers la 
have originally belonged to the body of Jewish converts, taken by them 
with a refermce 10 Matt, ii. ij, while the Gtnlilcs at Anlioch assumed the 
Greek appellation of Christians. As ihe Mosaic ordinances gradually it:U 
IMo disuse among' the former, in process of time it became the peculiar 
dcsjgnaiian of (he Chun:h of Jfrusalem ; and (hat Church in lum ihrow- 
ing off its Jevrish exterior in the reign of Hadrian, on being unfairly 
witrjarlfd lu the disabilities then laid upon the rebel nation, it finally 
settled upon (he scanty rcmnonli who Considered their ancient ceremotiial 
la be an esaenlial part of their present profession. These Judaiirrs, from 
an ovcr-aliachmcni lo ihe forms, proceeded in coarse of (ime, (0 imbibe 
die «piri( of the degenerate system: and ended in docltiiial views no( far 
abort of modem Socininnlsm. 

* Buit.>u, Bampi. Uct„ note 84. Considering the Judaism of the 
Quar(D-decimans after \'ictor's age, rs Ic imptissible ihat he may luive 
sutpccted thai (he old leaven was infecting the C'luiehea of Asia .' This 

2 2 The C/mrc/i of Aniioch. [chap, f'^ 


Such arc the instances of the connexion between 
Judaism and theological error, previously to the age of 
Paulus, who still more strikingly exemplifies it. First, 
we are in possession of his doctrinal opinions, which 
are grossly humanitarian ; next we find, that in early 
times they were acknowledged to be of Jewish origin ; 
further, that his ceremonial Judaism also was so 
notorious that one author even affirms that he 
observed the rite of circumcision^ : and lastly, just 
after his day we discover the rise of a Jewish usage, 
the Quarto-deciman, in the provinces of Christendom, 
immediately subjected to his influence. 

It may be added that this view of the bearing of 
Judaism upon the sceptical school afterwards called 
Arian is countenanced by frequent passages in the 
writings of the contemporary Fathers, on which no 
stress, perhaps, could fairly be laid, were not their 

will explain and partly excuse his earnestness in the controversy with 
them. It must be recollected that he witnessed, in his own branch of the 
Church, the rise of the first simply humanitarian school which Chris- 
tianity had seen, that of Theodotus, Artemas, &c. (Euseb. Hist. v. 28), 
the latter of whom is charged by Alexander with reviving the heresy of 
the judaizing Ebion (Theod. Hist., i. 4) ; [while at the same time at 
Rome Blastus was introducing the Quarto-deciman rule]. Again, Theo- 
dotus, Montanus, and Praxeas, whose respective heresies he was engaged 
In combating, all belonged to the neighbourhood of the Proconsulate, 
where there seems to have been a school, from which Praxeas derived his 
heresy (Theod. Haer. iii. 3) ; while Montanism, as its after history shows, 
contained in it the seeds, both of the Quarto-deciman and Sabellian errors 
(Tillemont, Mem. vol. ii. p. 199.205. Athan. in Arian. ii. 43). It may 
be added that the younger Theodotus is suspected of Montanism (Tille- 
mont. Mem. vol. iii. p. 277). 

' Philastr. Ha?r. § 64. [Epiphanius denies that the Paulianists circum- 
cised. Haer. Ixv. 2. It is remarkable that the Arian Whiston looked favour- 
ably on the rite. Biograph. Brit. p. 4213*] 



The Cimrch o/Aniioch. 



interpreted by the above historical facts'', 
loreover, in the popular risings which took- place in 
itioch and Alexandria in favour of Arianism, the 
sided with the heretical party^; evincing thereby, 
indeed any definite interest in the subject of 
dispute, but a sort of spontaneous feeling, that the 
side of heresy was their natural position ; and further, 
it its spirit, and the character which it created, 
re congenial to their own. Or, again, if we con- 
tbj'ect from a different point of view, and 
omitting dates and schools, take a general survey of 
Christendom during the first centuries, we shall find 
it divided into the same two parties, both on the Arian 
and the Quarto-deciman questions ; Rome and Alex- 
andria with their dependencies being the champions of 
the Catholic tradition in either controversy, and 
Palestine. Syria, and Asia Minor, being the strong- 
holds of the opposition. And these are the two 
questions which occasioned the deliberations of the 
Nicene Fathers. 

However, it is of far less consequence, as it is less 
certain, whether Arianism be of Jewish origin, than 
whether it arose at Antioch : which is the point prin- 
cipally insisted on in the foregoing pages. For in 
proportion as it is traced to Antioch, so is the charge 
of originating it removed from the great Alexandrian 
School, upon which various enemiesof our Apostolical 
Church have been eager to fasten it In corroboration 
what has been said above on this subject, 1 here add 
words of Alexander, in his letter to the Church of 

«rm.i. i;: Soiimi. Dlonys. 3.4 ; ad Epiic. ^g. iji de 
Arisa. ui. 17. and paum. Chiysim. Horn- io AnomiruK alil 

Thcod. His. i. 4. Epiphan. Hai. IxU. 79, 
^ HbL dcs Juib, <i. 41. 

24 The Church of Aiitioch, [chap. I, 

Constantinople, at the beginning of the controversy ; 
which are of themselves decisive in evidence of the 
part, which Antioch had, in giving rise to the detest- 
able blasphemy which he was combating. 

" Ye are not ignorant," he writes to the Constanti- 
nopolitan Church concerning Arianism, "that this 
rebellious doctrine belongs to Ebion and Artemas, 
and is in imitation of Paulus of Samosata, Bishop 
of Antioch, who was excommunicated by the sentence 
of the Bishops assembled in Council from all quarters. 
Paulus was succeeded by Lucian, who remained in 
separation for many years during the time of three 
bishops. . . . Our present heretics have drunk up the 
dregs of the impiety of these men, and are their 
secret offspring ; Arius and Achillas, and their party 
of evil-doers, incited as they are to greater excesses 
by three Syrian prelates, who agree with them . . . 
Accordingly, they have been expelled from the 
Church, as enemies of the pious Catholic teaching ; 
according to St. Paul's sentence, * If any man preach 
any other Gospel unto you than that ye have received, 
let him be anathema^/ " 

• Theod. Hist. 1.4. [Simeon, Bishop of Beth-Arsam, in Persia, a.d. 
510 — 525, traces the genealogy of Paulianism and Npstorianisra from 
Judaism thus ; — Caiaphas to Simon Magus ; Simon to Ebion ; Ebion to 
Artemon ; Artemon to Paul of Somosata ; Paul to Diodorus ; Diodorus to 
ITicodorc ; Thcodort to Nestorius. Asseraan. Bibl. Orient, t. i. p. 347.] 



As Antiocli was the birth-place, so were the Scliools 
of the Sophists the place of education of the heretical 
spirit which \vc arc considering. In this section, I 
propose to show its disputatious character, and to 
refer it to these Schools as the source of it. 

The vigour of the first movement of tlie heresy, and 
the rapid extension of the controversy which it intro- 
duced, are among the more remarkable circumstances 
connected with its history. In the course of six years 
it called for the interposition of a General Council ; 
though of three hundred and eighteen bishops there 
assembled, only twenty-two, on the largest calculation 
and, as it really appears, only thirteen, were after all 
found to be its supporters. Though thus condemned 
b>' the whole Christian world, in a few years it broke 
out again ; secured the patronage of the imperial 
court, which had recently been converted to the 
Christian faith ; made its way into the highest 
dignities of the Church ; presided at her Councils, 
tyrannized over the majority of her member* 

ho were orthodox believers. 

. doabllev 

found in t>>^ '' ^^I^Lucian's pupata i 

26 Tlie Sclwols of the Sophists, [chap. i. 

brought together from so many different places, and 
were promoted to posts of influence in so many parts 
of the Church. Thus Eusebius, Maris, and Theognis, 
were bishops of the principal sees of Bithynia ; Meno- 
phantes was exarch of Ephesus ; and Eudoxius was 
one of the Bishops of Comagene. Other causes will 
hereafter appear in the secular history of the day ; but 
here I am to speak of their talent for disputation, to 
which after all they were principally indebted for 
their success. 

It is obvious, that in every contest, the assailant, as 
such, has the advantage of the party assailed ; and 
that, not merely from the recommendation which 
novelty gives to his cause in the eyes of bystanders, 
but also from the greater facility in the nature of 
things, of finding, than of solving objections, whatever 
be the question in dispute. Accordingly, the skill of 
a disputant mainly consists in securing an offensive 
position, fastening on the weaker points of his adver- 
sary's case, and then not relaxing his hold till the 
latter sinks under his impetuosity, without having the 
opportunity to display the strength of his own cause, 
and to bring it to bear upon his opponent ; or, to 
make use of a familiar illustration, in causing a sudden 
run upon his resources, which the circumstances of 
time and place do not allow him to meet. This was 
the artifice to which Arianism owed its first successes'. 
It owed them to the circumstance of its being (in its 
original form) a sceptical rather than a dogmatic 

* di'ttTnySoxn yap a>s XucrtD/r^pc? kwcs ci9 €)(Opwv afJLwav, 
Epiph. Hser. Ixix. 15. Vide the whole passage. 

SECT, n.] Tlie Schools of the Sophists. 

I lead 



teaching ; to its proposing to inquire into and reform 
"le received creed, rather than to hazard one of its 
The heresies which preceded it, originating in 
ibtle and dexterous talent, took up a false 
position, professed a theory, and sunk under the obli- 
gations which it involved. The monstrous dogmas of 
.the various Gnostic sects pass away from the scene of 
itory as fast as they enter it. Sabellianism, which 
;eded, also ventured on a creed ; and vacillating 
een a similar wildness of doctrine, and a less 
[posing ambiguity, soon vanished in its turn^. But 
Antiochcne School, as represented by Paulus of 
losata and Arius, took the ground of an a.ssailant, 
icked the Catholic doctrine, and drew the attention 
men to its difficulties, without attempting to furnish 
theorj- of less perplexity or clearer evidence. 
The arguments of Paulus (which it is not to our 
purpose here to detail) seem fairly to have over- 
powered the first of the Councils summoned against 
him (a,D. 264), which dissolved without coming to a 
decision^. A second, and (according to some writers) 
a third, were successfully convoked, when at length 
Is subtleties were exposed and condemned ; not, 
'ever, by the reasonings of the Fathers of the 
luncii themselves, but by the instrumentality of one 
Ichion, a presbyter of Antioch, who, having been 
profession a Sophist, encountered his advcrsaiy 
own arms*. Even in yielding, the arts of 

, info. [Gregoij' Na?:. speaks of a yciAiJi'ij 

cfore Arianism. Orat. mv. 8.] 
y Eoseb. Hisi. vii. iS. Cave, Hisi. Liierar. vol, 1. p. 15a. 
I [o^d^fHi mtTUTToAt/ioviTai 01 irDXt/imi, orai' ri 
'tHii }(puifu6a Kar' airmv. Socr. lii. 16.] 

28 Tlie Schools of the Sophists. [chap, i. 

Paulus secured from his judges an ill-advised conces- 
sion, the abandonment of the celebrated word hoinoii- 
sion (consiibstantial), afterwards adopted as the test at 
Nicaea ; which the orthodox had employed in the 
controversy, and to which Paulus objected as open to 
a misinterpretation^. Arius followed in- the track 
thus marked out by his predecessor. Turbulent by 
character, he is known in history zis an offender 
against ecclesiastical order, before his agitation as- 
sumed the shape which has made his name familiar to 
posterity^. When he betook himself to the doctrinal 
controversy, he chose for the first open avowal of his 
heterodoxy the opportunity of an attack upon his 
diocesan, who was discoursing on the mystery of the 
Trinity to the clergy of Alexandria. Socrates, who is 
far from being a partisan of the Catholics, informs us 
that Arius being well skilled in dialectics sharply 
replied to the bishop, accused him of Sabellianism, 
and went on to argue that " if the Father begat the 
Son, certain conclusions would follow," and so pro- 
ceeded. His heresy, thus founded in a syllogism, 
spread itself by instruments of a kindred character. 
First, we read of the excitement which his reasonings 
produced in Egypt and Lybia ; then of his letters 
addressed to Eusebius and to Alexander, which display 
a like pugnacious and almost satirical spirit ; and 
then of his verses composed for the use of the populace 
in ridicule of the orthodox doctrine^. But afterwards, 
when the heresy was arraigned before the Nicene 

» Bull. Defens. Fid. Nic. ii. i. § 9—14. • 

* Epiph. Haer. Ixix. 2. 

^ Socr. i. 5, 6. Theod. Hist. 1. 5. Epiphan, Hucr. Ixix. 7, 8. Philo- 
storg. ii. «. Athan. de Dccret. 16, 

Council, and placed on the defensive, and later still, 
'hen its successes reduced it to the necessity of occu- 
ing the chairs of theology, it suffered the fate of the 
ter dogmatic heresies before it ; split, in spite of 
court favour, into at least four diflcrcnt creeds, in less 
than twenty years^ ; and at length gave way to the 
despised but indestructible tinjtli which it had for a 
time obscured. 

Arianism had in fact a close connexion with the 
existing Aristotelic sclioo!. This might have been 
conjectured, even had there been no proof of the fact, 
adapted as that philosopher's logical system con- 
fessedly is to baffle an adversary, or at most to detect 
error, rather than to establish truth'. But we have 
actually reason, in the circumstances of its history, 
for considering it as the off-shoot of those schools of 
inquiry and debate which acknowledged Aristotle as 
their principal authority, and were conducted by 
teachers who went by the name of Sophists. It was 
in these schools that the leaders of the heretical body 
wrere educated for the part assigned them in the 
troubles of the Church. The oratory of Faulus of 
Samosata is characterized by the distinguishing traits 
of the scholastic eloquence in the descriptive letter of 
the Council which condemned him ; in which, niore- 
:r, he is stigmatized by the most disgraceful title to 
a Sophist was exposed by the degraded exercise 

30 The Schools of the Sophists, [chap. i. 

of his profession^ The skill of Arius in the art of 
disputation is well known. Asterius was a Sophist 
by profession. Aetius came from the School of an 
Aristotelian of Alexandria. Eunomius, his pupil, 
who re-constructed the Arian doctrine on its original 
basis, at the end of the reign of Constantius, is repre- 
sented by Ruffinus as " pre-eminent in dialectic 
power2." At a later peri9d still, the like disputatious 
spirit and spurious originality are indirectly ascribed 
to the heterodox school, in the advice of Sisinnius to 
Nectarius of Constantinople, when the Emperor 
Theodosius required the latter to renew the contro- 
versy with a View to its final settlement^. Well 
versed in theological learning, and aware that adroit- 
ness in debate was the very life and weapon of heresy, 
Sisinnius proposed to the Patriardi, to drop the use of 
dialectics, and merely challenge h>s opponents to utter 
a general anathema against all such Ante-Nicene 
Fathers as had taught what thej?- themselves now 
denounced as false doctrine. On the experiment 
being tried, the heretics would neither consent to be 
tried by the opinions of the ancients, nor yet dared 
condemn those whom "all the people counted as 
prophets." " Upon this," say the historians who 
record the story, "the Emperor perceived that they 
rested their cause on their dialectic skill, and not on 
the testimony of the early Church'^." 

Abundant evidence, were more required, could be 

* cro^to"T^S KQX yorjs, a juggler. Vide Cressol. Theatr. Rhetor, i. 13, 

Hi. 17. 

3 Petav. Theol. prolegom. iii. 3. Baltus, D.^fense des Perr S. 1^1 
Brucker. vol. iii. p. 288. Cave, Hist. Literar. vol. 1. 

> Bull, Difens. Fid. Nic. Epilog. ■ ■ 

* Soci. HisL V. 10. Soz. Hist. vii. 12. 

SECT, B,] The Schoois of the Sophists. 

added to the above, in proof of the connexion of the 
Arians with the schools of heathen disputation. The 
iwo Gregories, Basil, Ambrose, and Cyril, protest with 
one voice against the dialectics of their opponents ; 
aiid the sum of their declarations is briefly expressed 
by 2. writer of the fourth century, who calls Aristotle 
iht Bishop of the AriansS 

And while the science of argumentation provided 
. the means, their practice of disputing for the sake of 
C exercise ur amusement supplied the temptation, of 
Ilssaiiing received opinions. This practice, which had 
I long prevailed in the Schools, was early introduced 
jihto the Eastern Church^. It was there employed as 

• means of preparing the Christian teacher for the 
I'ttintroverey with unbelievers. The discussion somc- 
V|tiincs proceeded in the form of a lecture delivered by 
^*iie master of the school to his pupils ; sometimes in 
rthat of an inquiry, to be submitted to the criticism 

* his hearers ; sometimes by way of dialogue, in 
^Tfhich opposite sides were taken for argument-sake. 

I" some cases, it was taken down in notes by the 
'•ystanders, at the time ; in others committed to 
writing by the parties engaged in it'. Necessary 

■ Dogi 


a. Thcol. sapta. Biucker, lot. iii. 
■ 69. [VigiL Thaps. comi. Eulych. 
Cii 1 1 jd (pUTTuc^ j and the actual discuHion, 

Rhci, ii. 3, pide also Alhan. Tr. p. 44, 
n>x in Emcsd litita OtigEii, ap Lumper, i, 

yii/ii-ooTOtol Xoyoi woe dyiomrrixoi, 
uu Empiikui, il.l: Mypoc i. 33,11.5;, 

%xt. Huk i. 5. 

i^*- ill, 3ii. 

32 The Schools of the Sophists, [chap. i. 

as these exercises would be for the purpose designed, 
yet they were obviously open to abuse, though 
moderated by ever so orthodox and strictly scriptural 
a rule, in an age when no sufficient ecclesiastical 
symbol existed, as a guide to the memory and judg- 
ment of the eager disputant. It is evident, too, how 
difficult it would be to secure opinions or arguments 
from publicity, which were but hazarded in the 
confidence of Christian friendship, and which, when 
viewed apart from the circumstances of the case, lent 
a seemingly deliberate sanction to heterodox novelties. 
Athanasius implies^, that in the theological works of 
Origen and Theognostus, while the orthodox faith 
was explicitly maintained, nevertheless heretical tenets 
were discussed, and in their place more or less de- 
fended, by way of exercise in argument. The coun- 
tenance thus accidentally given to the cause of error 
is evidenced in his eagerness to give the explanation. 
But far greater was the evil, when men destitute of 
religious seriousness and earnestness engaged in the 
like theological discussions, not with any definite 
ecclesiastical object, but as a mere trial of skill, or as 
a literary recreation ; regardless of the mischief thus 
done to the simplicity of Christian morals, and the 
evil encouragement given to fallacious reasonings and 
sceptical views. The error of the ancient Sophists 
had consisted in their indulging without restraint or 
discrimination in the discussion of practical topics, 
whether religious or political, instead of selecting 
such as might exercise, without demoralizing, their 
minds. The rhetoricians of Christian times intro- 

• Athan. de Decree. 25 and 27. [He says the same of Marccllus ia 
his defence, Apol. contr. Ar. 47.] 

'.'he Sc/wals of the Hophisls. 

ilutcd tlie same 

into their trcatm 

of tlic 

I most r^acrcd subjects of theology. We 
^retold, that Juhan commenced his opposition to the 
tnic faitli by defending- the heathen side of religious 
Questions, in disputing with his brother GalJus^ ; and 
JJrobably he would not have been able himself tu 
^ign the point of time at which he ceased merely to 
^s\;.f^ a part, and became earnest in his unbelief. But 
_" is unnecessary to have recourse to particular 
'"Stances, in order to prove the consequences of a 
practice so evidently destructive of a reverential and 

cr spirit 


Nioreover, in these theological discussions, the dis- 

P^tanta were in danger of being misled by the un- 

'''^Undness of the positions which they assumed, as 

^'dnentaiy truths or axioms in the argument As 

^^ic and rhetoric made them expert in pi'oof and 

""^riitation, so there was mucli in other sciences, which 

*~**Tned a liberal education, in geometry and arith- 

"^Citic, to confine the mind to the contemplation of 

"^^atcrial objects, as if these could supply suitable 

^sts and standards for examining those of a moral 

•**id spiritual nature ; whereas there are truths foreign 

**i the province of the most exercised intellect, some 

^^ J" them the peculiar discoveries of the improved moral 

^^-^nsc (or what Scripture terms "the Spirit"), and 

^^ihers still less on a level with our reason, and 

•"^ceivcd on the sole authority of Revelation. Then, 

Ift'ever, as now, the minds of speculative men were 
patient of ignorance, and loth to confess that the 
ITS of truth and falsehood, which their experience of 
S world furnished, could not at once be applied to 


34 The Schools of the Sophists, [chap. i. 

measure and determine the facts of another. Accord- 
ingly, nothing was left for those who would not 
believe the incomprehensibility of the Divine Essence, 
but to conceive of it by the analogy of sense ; and 
using the figurative terms of theology in their literal 
meaning as if landmarks in their inquiries, to suppose 
that then, and then only, they steered in a safe course, 
when they avoided every contradiction of a mathe- 
matical and material nature. Hence, canons grounded 
on physics were made the basis of discussions about 
possibilities and impossibilities in a spiritual sub- 
stance, as confidently and as fallaciously, as those 
which in modern times have been derived from the 
same false analogies against the existence of moral 
self-action or free-will. Thus the argument by which 
Paulus of Samosata baffled the Antiochene Council, 
was drawn from a sophistical use of the very word 
substance, which the orthodox had employed in ex- 
pressing the scriptural notion of the unity subsisting 
between the Father and the Son^ Such too was the 
mode of reasoning adopted at Rome by the Artemas 
or Artemon, already mentioned, and his followers, at 
the end of the second century. A contemporary 
writer, after saying that they supported their " God- 
denying apostasy " by syllogistic forms of argument, 
proceeds, "Abandoning the inspired writings, they 
devote themselves to geometry, as becomes those 
who are of the earth, and speak of the earth, and 
are ignorant of Him who is from above. Euclid's 
treatises, for instance, are zealously studied by 
some of them ; Aristotle and Theophrastus are 
objects of their admiration ; while Galen may be 

' Bull, Dcfens. F. N. ii. i. % lo. 

se.c:t. II.] Tlie Schools of the Sophists. 35 

said even to be adored by others. It is needless to 
declare that such perverters of the sciences of un- 
believers to the purposes of their own heresy, such 
diluters of the simple Scripture faith with heathen 
subtleties, have no claim whatever to be called be- 
lievers.2 " And such is Epiphanius's description of the 
A^nomoeans, the genuine^ offspring of the original 
A.rian stock. "Aiming," he says, "to exhibit the 
Divine Nature by means of Aristotelic syllogisms and 
geometrical data, they are thence led on to declare 
that Christ cannot be derived from God^." 


Lastly, the absence of an adequate symbol of doc- 
trine increased the evils thus existing, by affording an 
excuse and sometimes a reason for investigations, the 
necessity of which had not yet been superseded by the 
authority of an ecclesiastical decision. The tradition- 
ary system, received from the first age of the Church, 
had been as yet but partially set forth in authoritative 
forms ; and by the time of the Nicene Council, the 
voices of the Apostles were but faintly heard through- 
^^t Christendom, and might be plausibly disregarded 
^y those who were unwilling to hear. Even at the 
"^grinning of the third century, the disciples of 
-^^temas boldly pronounced their heresy to be apos- 
tolical, and maintained that all the bishops of Rome 
^^d held it till Victor inclusive^, whose episcopate 
^^s but a few years before their own time. The 
Pfc>gress of unbelief naturally led them on to 
^^parage, rather than to appeal to their prede- 
cessors ; and to trust their cause to their own 

Huseb. Hist.v. 28. ' Epiph. Haer. p. Sop. ^ Euseb. ibid. 

D 2 

36 The Schools of the Sophists, [chap, i, 

ingenuity, instead of defending an inconvenient fiction 
concerning the opinions of a former age. It ended in 
teaching them to regard the ecclesiastical authorities 
of former times as on a level with the uneducated and 
unenlightened of their own days. Paulus did not 
scruple to express contempt for the received exposi- 
tors of Scripture at Antioch ; and it is one of the first 
accusations brought by Alexander against Arius and 
his party, that "they put themselves above the 
ancients, and the teachers of our youth, and the 
prelates of the day ; considering themselves alone 
to be wise, and to have discovered truths, which had 
never been revealed to man before them 5," 

On the other hand, while the line of tradition, 
drawn out as it was to the distance of two centuries 
from the Apostles, had at length become of too frail 
a texture, to resist the touch of subtle and ill-directed 
reason, the Church was naturally unwilling to have 
recourse to the novel, though necessary measure, of 
imposing an authoritative creed upon those whom it 
invested with the office of teaching. If I avow my 
belief, that freedom from symbols and articles is 
abstractedly the highest state of Christian communion, 
and the peculiar privilege of the primitive Church^, 
it is not from any tenderness towards that proud 
impatience of control in which many exult, as in a 
virtue ; but first, because technicality and formalism 

* Theod. Hist. i. 4. [" Solae in contemptu sunt divinse literae, quae nee 
suam scholam nee magistros habeant, et de quibus peiitissim^ disputarc 
se ciedat, qui nunquam didicit.'* Facund. p. 581. ed. Sirm. ; vide alsp, 
P- 565-] 

•* ["Non eguistis literA, qui spiritu abundabatis, etc. Ubi sensus 
conscientiae pcriclitatur, illic litera postulatur." Hilar, dc Syn. 63. Vide 
the Benedictine note.] 

SEOT. II.] The Schools of the Sophists. 37 

are, in their degree, inevitable results of public con- 
fessions of faith ; and next, because when confessions 
do not exist, the mysteries of divine truth, instead of 
being exposed to the gaze of the profane and unin- 
structed, are kept hidden in the bosom of the Church, 
far more faithfully than is otherwise possible ; and 
reserved by a private teaching, through the channel 
of her ministers, as rewards in due measure and 
season, for those who are prepared to profit by them ; 
for those, that is, who are diligently passing through 
the successive stages of faith and obedience. And 
thus, while the Church is not committed to declara- 
tions, which, most true as they arc, still are daily 
Wrested by infidels to their ruin ; on the other hand, 
^uch of that mischievous fanaticism is avoided, which 
^t present abounds from the vanity of men, who think 
^hat they can explain the sublime doctrines and 
exuberant promises of the Gospel, before they have 
yet learned to know themselves and to discern the 
holiness of God, under the preparatory discipline of 
^he Law and of Natural Religion. Influenced, as we 
^ay suppose, by these various considerations, from 
^^verence for the free spirit of Christian faith, and 
^till more for the sacred truths which are the objects 
^f it, and again from tenderness both for the heathen 
^nd the neophyte, who were unequal to the reception 
of the strong meat of the full Gospel, the rulers of 
the Church were dilatory in applying a remedy, which 
nevertheless the circumstances of the times impera- 
tively required. They were loth to confess, that the 
Church had grown too old to enjoy the free, unsus • 
picious teaching with which her childhood was blest ; 
and that her disciples must, for the future, calculate 
and reason before they spoke and acted. So much 

3^ The Schools of the Sophists, [chap. i. 

was this the case, that in the Council of Antioch (as 
; has been said), on the objection of Paulus, they 

actually withdrew a test which was eventually adopted 

by the more experienced Fathers at Nicaea ; and 
j which, if then sanctioned, might, as far as the Church 

] was concerned, have extinguished the heretical spirit 

I in the very place of its birth. — Meanwhile, the adop- 

j tion of Christianity, as the religion of the empire, 

I augmented the evil consequences of this omission, 

j excommunication becoming more difficult, while 

I entrance into the Church was less restricted tlian 



-'IS tlie Church of Antioch was exposed to the 
influence of Judaism, so was the Alexandrian Church 
fuaracterized iu primitive times by its attachment to 
"■^t comprehensive philosophy, which was reduced to 
^y^tem abottt the beginning of the third century, and 
•nen went by the name of the New Platonic, or 
^^'ectic. A supposed resemblance between the 
'•'"ian and the Eclectic doctrine concerning the Holy 
'•"inity, has led to a common notion that the Alex- 
■"^cJrian Fathers were the medium by which a philo- 
^phical error was introduced into the Church ; and 
'His hypothetical cause of a disputable resemblance 
"•Ts been apparently evidenced by the solitary fact, 
^vhich cannot be denied, that Arius himself was a 
presbyter of Alexandria. We liave already seen, 
however, that Arius was educated at Antioch ; and 
we shall see hereafter that, so far from being favour- 
ably heard at Alexandria, he was, on the first promul- 
gation of bis heresy, expelled the Church in that city, 
and obliged to seek refuge among his Collucianists 
of Syria. And it is manifestly the opinion of 
Atbanasius, that he was but the pupil or the tool 
of deeper men', probably of Eusebius of Nicomcdia, 

lan. oe Dfcr. NicS. ;o| aH Monach. 66 ; dc Synod. )l. 

40 The Church of Alexandria, [chap. i. 

who in no sense belongs to Alexandria. But various 
motives have led theological writers to implicate this 
celebrated Church in the charge of heresy. Infidels 
have felt a satisfaction, and heretics have had an 
interest, in representing that the most learned Chris- 
tian community did not submit implicitly to the 
theology taught in Scripture and by the Church ; a 
conclusion, which, even if substantiated, would little 
disturb the enlightened defender of Christianity, who 
may safely admit that learning, though a powerful 
instrument of the truth in right hands, is no unerring 
guide into it The Romanists^, on the other hand, 
have thought by the same line of policy to exalt the 
Apostolical purity of their own Church, by the 
contrast of unfaithfulness m its early rival ; and 
(what is of greater importance) to insinuate both the 
necessity of an infallible authority, by exaggerating 
the errors and contrarieties of the Ante-Nicene 
Fathers, and the fact of its existence, by throwing us, 
for exactness of doctrinal statement, upon the de- 
cisions of the subsequent Councils. In the following 
pages, I hope to clear the illustrious Church in ques- 
tion of the grave imputation thus directed against her 
from opposite quarters : the imputation of considering 
the Son of God by nature inferior to the Father, that 
is, of platonizing or arianizing. But I have no need 
to profess myself her disciple, though, as regards the 
doctrine in debate, I might well do so ; and, instead 
of setting about any formal defence, I will merely 
place before the reader the general principles of her 

■ [As to the charges made against Petavius, vide Bull, Defens. N. F. 
proccm. ; Budd. Isagog. p. 580 ; Bayle, Diet. (Petau.) ; Brucker, Phil. t. 

"^•P- .U5-] 

SECT, m.] The Churth of Alexandria. 

leaching, and leave it to him to apply them, as far as 
lie judges tliey will go, in explanation of the language, 
which has been the ground of the suspicions against 

Sl Mark, the fountJer of the Alexandrian Church, 
nuy b^ numbered among the personal friends and 
associates of that Apostle, who held it to be Ins 
especial office to convert the Iieathen ; an office, which 
"'■'Is impressed upon the community formed by the 
E'p'angelist, with a strength and permanence unknown 
in the other primitive Churches. The Alexandrian 
"^^y peculiarly be called the Missionary and Polemical 
Citurch of Antiquity. Situated in the centre of the 
^cessible world, and on the extremity of Christendom, 
"1 a city Avhich was at once the chief mart of com- 
'Herce, and a celebrated seat of both Jewish and 
Creek philosophy, it was supplied in especial abun- 
dance, both with materials and instruments prompting 
lo the exercise of Christian zeal. Its catechetical 
schoo], founded (it is said) by the Evangelist himself, 
was a pattern to other Churches in its diligent and 
systematic preparation of candidates for baptism ; 
while other institutions were added of a controversial 
character, for the purpose of carefully examining 
into the doctrines revealed in Scripture, and of culti- 
vating the habit of argument and disputation^. While 
the internal affairs of the community were adminis- 
tered by its bishops, on these academical bodies, as 
subsidiaryto the divinely-sanctioned system, devolved 
the defence and propagation of the faith, under the 

42 The Church of Alexandria, [chat. i. 

presidency of laymen or inferior ecclesiastics. Athen- 
ag,oras, the first recorded master of the catechetical 
school, is known by his defence of the Christians, still 
extant, addressed to the Emperor Marcus. Pantasnus, 
who succeeded him, was sent by Demetrius, at that 
time bishop, as missionary to the Indians or Arabians. 
Origen, who was soon after appointed catechist at the 
early age of eighteen, had already given the earnest of 
his future celebrity, by his persuasive disputations with 
the unbelievers of Alexandria. Afterwards he ap- 
peared in the character of a Christian apologist before 
an Arabian prince, and Mammaea, the mother of 
Alexander Severus, and addressed letters on the 
subject of religion to the Emperor Philip and his wife 
Severa ; and he w^as know^n far and wide in his day, 
for his indefatigable zeal and ready services in the 
confutation of heretics, for his various controversial 
and critical writings, and for the number and dignity 
of his converts^. 

Proselytism, then, in all its branches, the apologetic, 
the polemical, and the didactic, being the peculiar 
function of the Alexandrian Church, it is manifest 
that the writings of its theologians would partake 
largely of an exoteric character. I mean, that such 
men would write, not with the openness of Christian 
familiarity, but with the tenderness or the reserve with 
which we are accustomed to address those who do not 
sympathize with us, or whom we fear to mislead or to 
prejudice against the truth, by precipitate disclosures 
of its details. The example of the inspired writer of 
the Epistle to the Hebrews was their authority for 
making a broad distinction between the doctrines 

* Philipp. Sidet. fragm. apud Dodw. in Iren. Huet. Origen, 

SECT. III.] Tlie Church of Alexandria. 43 

suitable to the state of the weak and ignorant, and 
those which are the peculiar property of a baptized 
and regenerate Christian. The Apostle in that 
Epistle, when speaking of the most sacred Christian 
verities, as hidden under the allegories of the Old 
Testament, seems suddenly to check himself, from 
the apprehension that he was divulging mysteries 
beyond the understanding of his brethren ; who, 
instead of being masters in Scripture doctrine, were 
not yet versed even in its elements, needed the 
nourishment of children rather than of grown 
nien, nay, perchance, having quenched the illu- 
niination of baptism, had forfeited the capacity of 
comprehending even the first elements of the truth, 
In the same place he enumerates these elements, or 
foundation of Christian teaching^, in contrast with the 
esoteric doctrines which the " long-exercised habit of 
n^oral discernment " can alone appropriate and enjoy, 
^ follows ; — repentance, faith in God, the doctrinal 
meaning of the right of baptism, confirmation as the 
channel of miraculous gifts, the future resurrection, 
^nd the final separation of good and bad. His first 
Epistle to the Corinthians contains the same distinc- 
tion between the carnal or imperfect and the estab- 
hshed Christian, which is laid down in that addressed 
to the Hebrews. While maintaining that in Christi- 
anity is contained a largeness of wisdom, or (to use 
human language) a profound philosophy, fulfilling 
those vague conceptions of greatness, which had led 
^^^ aspiring intellect of the heathen sages to shadow 
^ortlx their unreal systems, he at the same time insists 

^ Hebr. V. 1 1 ; vi. 6. Tot crTOt;(€ta t^s ^P'^Ci^ tC)V XoytW rov Ocov, 
"^^ a/>x5^ "^^^ XptcTToi; Xoyo9. 

44 Tlie C/mrch of Alexandria, ["chap, u 

upon the impossibility of man's arriving at this hidderi. 
treasure all at once, and warns his brethren, instead oC 
attempting to cross by a short path from the false to 
the true knowledge, to humble themselves to the lo\\r 
and narrow portal of the heavenly temple, and to 
become fools, that they might at length be really wise- 
As before, he speaks of the difference of doctrine 
suited respectively to neophytes and confirmed Chris- 
tians, under the analogy of the difference of food 
proper for the old and young ; a difference which lies, 
not in the arbitrary will of the dispenser, but in the 
necessity of the case, the more sublime truths of 
Revelation affording no nourishment to the souls of 
the unbelieving or unstable. 

Accordingly, in the system of the early catechetical 
schools, \h.(t perfect, or men in Christ, were such as had 
deliberately taken upon them the profession of be- 
lievers ; had made the vows, and received the grace of 
baptism ; and were admitted to all the privileges and 
the revelations of which the Church had been consti- 
tuted the dispenser. But before reception into this 
full discipleship, a previous season of preparation, 
from two to three years, was enjoined, in order to try 
their obedience, and instruct them in the principles of 
revealed truth. During this introductory discipline, 
they were called Catechumens, and the teaching itself 
Catecheticaly from the careful and systematic exami- 
nation by which their grounding in the faith was 
effected. The matter of the instruction thus commu- 
nicated to them, varied with the time of their disci- 
pleship, advancing from the most simple principle of 
Natural Religion to the peculiar doctrines of the 
Gospel, from moral truths to the Christian mysteries. 
On their first admission they were denominated hearers^ 

siiCT. III.] The Church of Alexandria. ^^ 

from the leave granted them to attend the reading of 
the Scriptures and sermons in the Church. After- 
wards, being allowed to stay during the prayers, and 
receiving the imposition of hands as the sign of their 
progress in spiritual knowledge, they were called 
worshippers. Lastly, some short time before their 
baptism, they were tauglit the Lord's Prayer (the 
peculiar privilege of the regenerate), were entrusted 
with the knowledge of the Creed, and, as destined for 
incorporation into tlie body of believers, received the 
titles of .ompetmt or eieci^. Even to tlie last, they 
were granted nothing beyond a formal and general 
account of the articles of the Christian faith ; the 
exact and fully developed doctrines of the Trinity 
and tlie Incarnation, and still more, the doctrine of 
the Atonement, as once made upon the cross, and 
commemorated and appropriated in the Eucliarist, 
being the exclusive possession of the serious and 
practised Christian. On the other hand, the chief 
subjects of ca tech i sings, as n'e learn from Cyril ', were 
the doctrines of repentance and pardon, of the neces- 
sity of good works, of the nature and use of baptism, 
and the immortality of the soul ; — as the Apostle had 
determined them. 

Tlic exoteric teaching, thus observed in the Cate- 
dietical Schools, was still more appropriate, when the 
Christian teacher addressed himself, not to the instruc- 
IJon of willing hearers, but to controversy or public 
At the present day, there are very many 
: Christians, who consider that the evangelical 

' otTiio/icyoi. BIngliarn, Antiq. book i- Suiccc 
' Bmgharo, ibid. 

46 The Ch::r:h rf A Icxjndria. [chap. 

doctrines are the a":?o::r.tei instruments of conversion ^ 
and, as such, cxcV-?;vl-v attended 'witb the Divir''^^ 
blessiniT. In prx^f of :h:? T^v-^s.tion, with an inconsi -^ 
tency reni:iri:jb]e in :>.:•>-: who profess a jealou-^ 
adherence to the :n5:>:r;:c :ext. and are not slow t::<= 
accuse others of ignorjir-c-.- of its contents, they appea^/, 
not to Scripture, but 10 the ?t:rrln<x effects of th£s^ 
(so-called") Gospel prei/^. and to the inefficiency; 
on the other hand, of n^ere exhortations respecting 
the benevolence and nierc>- of God, the necessity of 
repentance, the rights of conscience, and the obligation 
of obedience. But it is scarcely the attribute of a 
generous faith, to be anx;ou5:y inquiring into the con- 
sequences of this or that sys:em. with a ^•iew to decide 
its admissibility, instead of rjming at once to the 
revealed ^^-ord, and inquiring into the rule there ex- 
hibited to us. Goi can defend and \-indicate His own 
command, whatever it turn out to be ; weak though it 
seem to our vain wisdom, and unwortiiy of the Giver ; 
and that His course in tlil5 instance is really that which 
the hasty religionist condemns as if the theory of 
unenlightened formalists, is evident to careful students 
of Scripture, and is connrmed by the practice of the 
Primitive Church. 

As to Scripture, I shall but obserxe, in addition to 
the remarks already made on the passages in the 
Epistles to the Corinthians and Hebrews, that no one 
sanction can be adduced thence, whetlier of precept or 
of example, in behalf of the practice of stimulating the 
affections, such as gratitude or remorse, by means of 
the doctrine of the Atonement, in order to the con- 
version of the hearers ; — ^that, on the contrary, it is its 
lethod to connect the Gospel with Natural 
ind to mark out obedience to the moral law 

SEcr. in.] TJie Ckurek of Alexandria. 47 

IS the ordinary means of attaining to a Christian faith, 
the higher evangelical truths, as well as the Eucharist, 
which is the visible emblem of them, being received as 
ihc reward and confirmation of habitual piety ; — 
that, in the preaching of the Apostles and Evangelists 
in the Book of Acts, the sacred mysteries are revealed 
10 individuals in proportion to their actual religious 
proficiency; that the first principles of righteousness, 
temperance, and judgment to come, are urged upon 
Felix ; while the elders of Ephesus are reminded of 
liie divinity and vicarious sacrifice of Christ, and the 
presence and power of the Holy Spirit in the Church; 
—lastly, that among those converts, who were made 
the chief instruments of the first propagation of the 
Gospel, or who are honoured with especial favour in 
Scripture, none arc found who had not been faithful 
to the light already given them, and were not distin- 
K^iished, previously to their conversion, by a strictly 
conscientiousdeportment Sucharethe divinenoticcs 
given to those who desire an apostolical rule for dis- 
peming the word of life; and as such, the ancient 
'■"athcrs received them. They received them as the 
fulfilment of our Lord's command, not to give that 
*hich is holy to dogs, nor to cast pearls before swine ; 
ft text cited by Clement and TcrtulHan*, among others, 
m justification of their cautious distribution of sacrctl 
tnitk lliey also considered this caution as the result 
of the most truly charitable consideration for thrMC 
*hom they addressed, %lio were IJkcIy to be ptr- 
pfcxed, not con\-crted. by the sodden exhibition of 

r: CT-angelical scheme Thb is the doctrine 
oret. Chrysostom. and otbeis, to their cowi- 

48 The Church of Alexandria, [chap. 1. 

merits upon the passage in the Epistle to the Hebrews^. 
" Should a catechumen ask thee what the teachei-s 
have determined, (says Cyril of Jerusalem) tell nothing 
to one who is without. For we impart to thee a secret 
and a promise of the world to come. Keep safe the 
secret for Him who gives the reward. Listen not to 
one who asks, *What harm is there in my knowing 
also } ' Even the sick ask for wine, which, unseason- 
ably given, brings on delirium ; and so there come 
two ills, the death of the patient and the disrepute of 
the physician." In another place he says, " All may 
hear the Gospel, but the glory of the Gospel is set 
apart for the true disciples of Christ. To all who 
could hear, the Lord spake, but in parables ; to His 
disciples He privately explained them. What is the 
blaze of Divine glory to the enlightened, is the blind- 
ing of unbelievers. These are the secrets which the 
Church unfolds to him who passes on from the cate- 
chumens, and not to the heathen. For we do not 
unfold to a heathen the truths concerning Father, Son, 
and Holy Spirit; nay, not even in the case of catechu- 
mens, do we clearly explain the mysteries, but we 
frequently say many things indirectly, so that believers 
who have been, taught may understand, and the others 
may not be injured'." 

The work of St. Clement, of Alexandria, called 
Stromateis, or Tapestry-work, from the variet)^ of its 
contents, well illustrates the Primitive Church's method 
of instruction, as far as regards the educated portion 
of the community. It had the distinct object of intc- 
resting and conciliating the learned heathen wlio 

• Suicer. Tlies. in vcib. OTotx^tov, 

* Cyril. Ilieros. cd. Milles, prnef. § 7 catcch. vi. i6. 

perused it ; but it also exemplifies the peculiar caution 
then adopted by Christians in teaching the truth, — 
their desire to rouse the moral powers to internal 
voluntary action, and their dread of loading or formal- 
izing the mind. In the opening of his work, Clement 
speaks of his miscellaneous discussions as mingling 
truth with philosophy ; " or rather," he continues, 
"involving and concealing it, as the shell hides tliu 
edible fruit of the nut." In another place he compares 
them, not to a fancy garden, but to some thickly- 
wooded mountain, where vegetation of every sort, 
growing promiscuously, by its verj- abundance con- 
ceals from the plunderer the fruit trees, which are 
intended for the rightful owner. "We must hide," he 
says, "that wisdom, spoken in mystery, which the 
Son of God has taught us. Thus the Prophet Esaias 
has his tongue cleansed with fire, that he may be able 
to declare the vision ; and our cars must be sanctified 
as well as our tongues, if we aim at being recipients of 
LJtfac truth- This was a hindrance to my writing; and 
ftili I have anxiety, since Scripture says, ' Cast not 
rour pearls before swine;' for those pure and bright 
ruths, which are so marvellous and full of u^d to 
>dly natures, do but provoke laughter, when spoken 
n the hearing of the manys." The Fathers considered 
lat they had the pattern as well as the rccommen- 
iion of this method of teaching in Scripture itself-^ 

This self-restraint .ind abstinence, practised at least 

in Sciiprmis saciis mysiwioruin profundi cairs, q 
vilcscant; o\> hoc ([uxninlar. ul vxcrceani; 1 
, III pascant." Augusl. in Pclav. pnrf in Ttin. i. 


The Church of Alexandria, [chat, l 

partially, by the Primitive Church in the pubUcotioN 
of the most sacred doctrines of our religion, is termcdf 
in theological language, the Disciplina Arcani ; coH 
cerning which a few remarks may here be added, ni 
so much in recommendation of it (which is beside ir 
purpose), as to prevent misconception of its princip 
and limits. 

Now, first, it may be asked. How was any secrn; 
practicable, seeing that the Scriptures were open b 
every one who chose to consult them? It may starti 
those who are but acquainted witii tlie popular Avrit 
ings of this day, yet, I believe, the most accural 
consideration of the subject will lead us to acqui 
in the statement, as a general tnith, that the doctrii 
in question have never been learned merely fr 
Scripture. Surely the Sacred Volume was ne 
-" intended, and is not adapted, to teach us our cre< 
however certain it is that we can prove our creed froi 
it, when it has once been taught us"*, and in spite « 
individual producible exceptions to the general ml* 
From the very first, that nile has been, as a matter < 
fact, that the Church should teach the truth, 
then should appeal to Scripture in vindication of it 
oxvn teaching. And from the first, it has been tb 
error of heretics to neglect the information thus pn 
vided for them, and to attempt of themselves a 
to which they are unequal, the eliciting a systcmatj 
doctrine from the scattered notices of the truth whic 
Scripture contains. Such men act, in the solemn coi 
ccrns of religion, the part of the self-sufficient nattm 

* Vlilc Ml. HanklnVi oi.glnal and mon conclusive wnik on t 
r)ta(ive Tradition, which cunuins In il tlie key to a numlicf o( di 
wbloh are apl lo pcrplrx ihe thcaloeitnl iiu-lfnt. 

SECT, m.] The Church of Alexandria. 

pliiiosoplier, who should obstinately reject Newton's 
thcoiy of gravitation, and endeavour, with talents in- 
adequate to tJie task, to strike out some theory of 
motion by himself. The insufficiency of the mere 
private study of Holy Scripture for arriving at the 
exact and entire truth which Scripture really contains, 
is shown by the fact, that creeds and teachers have 
ever been divinely provided, and by the discordance 
of opinions which exists wherever those aids are 
thrown aside ; as it is also shown by the very struc- 
ture of the Bible itself And if this be so, it follows 
that, while inquirers and neophytes in the first 
centuries lawfully vs;d the inspired writings for the 
purposes of morals and for instruction in the rudi- 
ments of the faith, they still might need the teaching 
of the Church as a key to the collection of passages 
which related to the mysteries of the Gospel, passages 
which are obscure from the necessity of combining 
and receiving them all. 

A more plausible objection to the existence of this 
nile of secrecy in the Early Church arises from the 
circumstance, that the Christian Apologists openly 
mention to the whole world the sacred tenets which 
have been above represented as the peculiar possession 
of the confirmed believer. But it must be obsci-ved, 
that the writers of these were frequently laymen, and 
so did not commit the Church as a body, nor even in 
its separate authorities, to formal statement or to 
theological discussion. The great duty of the Chris- 
tian teacher was to unfold the sacred truths in due 
order, and not prematurely to insist on the difficulties, 

Klo apply the promises of the Gospel ; and if others 
ed in this respect, still it remained a duty to him. 

52 The Church of Alexandria, Lchap. i. ' 

And further, these disclosures are not so conclusive as 
they seem to be at first sight ; the approximations of 
philosophy, and the corruptions of heresy, being so 
considerable, as to create a confusion concerning the 
precise character of the ecclesiastical doctrine. Besides, 
in matter of fact, some of the early apologists them- 
selves, as Tatian, were tainted with heretical opinions. 
But in truth, it is not the actual practice of the 
Primitive Church, which I am concerned with, so 
much as its principle. Men often break through the 
rules, which they set themselves for the conduct of life, 
with or without good reason. If it was the professed 
principle of the early teachers, to speak exoterically to 
those who were without the Church, instances of a 
contrary practice but prove their inconsistency ; 
whereas the fact of the existence of the principle 
answers the purpose which is the ultimate aim of 
these remarks, viz. it accounts for those instances in 
the teaching of the Alexandrians, whether many or 
few, and whether extant or not in writing, in which 
they were silent as regards the mysterious doctrines 
of Christianity. Indeed it is evident, that anyhow 
the Disciplma Arcani could not be observed for any 
long time in the Church. Apostates would reveal its 
doctrines, even if these escaped in no other way. 
Perhaps it was almost abandoned, as far as men of 
letters were concerned, after the date of Ammonius ; 
indeed there are various reasons for limiting its strict 
enforcement to the end of the second century. And 
it is plain, that during the time when the sacred 
doctrines were passing into the stock of public know- 
ledge, Christian controversialists would be in a 
difficulty how to conduct themselves, what to deny, 

S1£CT, m.j 

t lexanand. 



^ixplaii! or complete, in the popular notions of their 
*^recd ; and they would consequently be betrayed 
into inconsistencies of statement, and vary in their 
xiiethod of disputing, 

The DiscipHna Arcani being supposed, with these 
Umitations, to have had a real existence, I observe 
further, in explanation of its principle, that the 
lementary information given to the heathen or 
:cchumen was in no sense undone by the sub- 
[ucnt secret teaching, which was in fact but the 
iliing up of a bare but correct outline. The contrary 
Iheory was maintained by the Manichees, who repre- 
sented the initiatory discipline as founded on a fiction 
hypothesis, which was to be forgotten by the 
;mer as he made progress in the real doctrine of 
gospels ; somewhat after the manner of a school 
the present day, which supposes conversion to be 
effected by an exhibition of free promises and threats, 
and an appeal to our moral capabilities, which after 
mversion are discovered to have no foundation in 
ict But " Far be it from so great an Apostle," says 
LUgustine, speaking of St, Paul, "a vessel elect of God, 
'an organ ot the Holy Ghost, to be one man when he 
preached, another when he wrote, one man in private, 
another in public. He was made all to all men, not 
by the craft of a deceiver, but from the affection of a 
sympathizer, succouring the diverse diseases of souls 
wilh the diverse emotions of compassion ; to the little 
ones dispensing the lesser doctrines, not false ones, 
but Ihc higher mysteries to the perfect, all of them, 
however, true, harmonious, and divine^." 

Augusr. in Aivcrs, Leg. et Pio|.h. lib. 


. Idol 

not and il in this exact 

a in Augustine's (.'cnttw; viilc in .A.lvcr 


iPmpl>.Iib. ii.4.6.*c. 

54 The CImrch of Alexandria, [chap, h:- 

Next, the truths reserved for the baptized Christia 
were not put forward as the arbitrary determinations 
of individuals, as the word of man, but rather as an 
apostolical legacy, preserved and dispensed by th^ 
Church. Thus Irena^us when engaged in refuting the 
heretics of his age, who appealed from the text of 
Scripture to a sense independent of it, as the test 
between truth and falsehood in its contents, says, 
" We know the doctrine of our salvation through none 
but those who have transmitted to us the gospel, first 
proclaiming it, then (by God's will) delivering it to 
us in the Scriptures, as a basis and pillar of our faith. 
Nor dare we affirm that their announcements were made 
previously to their attaining perfect knowledge, as 
some presume to say, boasting that they set right the 
Apostles 7." He then proceeds to speak of the clear- 
ness and cogency of the traditions preserved in the 
Church, as containing that true wisdom of the perfect, 
of which St. Paul speaks, and to which the Gnostics 
pretended. And, indeed, without formal proofs of 
the existence and the authority in primitive times of 
an Apostolical Tradition, it is plain that there must 
have been such tradition, granting that the Apostles 
conversed, and their friends had memories, like other 
men. It is quite inconceivable that they should not 
have been led to arrange the series of revealed doctrines 
more systematically than they record them in Scrip- 
ture, as soon as their converts became exposed to the 
attacks and misrepresentations of heretics ; unless they 
were forbidden so to do, a supposition which cannot 
be maintained. Their statements thus occasioned 
would be preserved, as a matter of course ; together 

' Iren. iii. i. Vide also Tertull. de Praescr. Hserev. 23. 


1 those other secret but less important ti'ulhs, to 

which St. Paul -seems to allude, and which the cariy 

■ATitcrs more or less acknowledge, whether concerning 

types of the Jewish Church, or the prospective 

fortunes of the Christian^. And such recollections of 

apostolical teaching would evidently be binding on 

tile faith of those who were instructed in them ; unless 

' it can be supposed, that, though coming from inspired 

i'teachers, they were not of divine origin. 

-However, it must not be supposed, that this appeal 

* Tradition in the slightest degree disparages the 

so\rereign authority and sufficiency of Holy Scripture, 

; ^s a record of the truth. In the passage from Irena^us 

^^*t>ove cited. Apostolical Tradition is brought forward, 

^^^*>t to supersede Scripture, but in conjunction with 

^^^•^ ripturc, to refute the self-authorized, arbitrary 

^^^'^ctrines of the heretics. We must cautiously dis- 

***>guish, with that Father, between a tradition sup- 

r*lanting or peiverting the inspired records, and a 

^''^^rroborating, illustrating, and altogether subordinate 

*~3dition. It is of the latter that he speaks, classing 

_ *>e traditionary and the written doctrine together, as 

-abstantially one and the same, and as each equally 

^'Jiposcd to the profane inventions of Valentinus and 


Lastly, the secret tradition soon ceased to exist even 

^■»i Uieory, It was authoritatively divulged, and per- 

;ictuated in the form of symbols according as the 

Successive innovations of heretics called for its publi- 

I'CatJon. In the creeds of the early Councils, it may be 

I Considered as having come to light, and so ended ; so 

I that whatever has not been thus authenticated, whether 

* Aloihcim, Jc Itcb> ancc Const. 

56 Tli£ Church of Alexandria, [chap. i. 

it was prophetical information, or comment on the past 
dispensations^, is, from the circumstances of the case, 
lost to the Church. What, however, was then (by- 
God's good providence) seasonably preserved, is in 
some sense of apostolical authority still ; and at least 
serves the chief office of the early traditions, viz. that 
of interpreting and harmonizing the statements of 


In the passages lately quoted from Clement and 
Cyril, mention was made by those writers of a mode 
of speaking, which was intelligible to the well-in- 
structed, but conveyed no definite meaning to ordinary 
hearers. This was the Allegorical Method ; which 
well deserves our attention before we leave the subject 
of the Discipliiia Arcaniy as being one chief means by 
which it was observed. The word allegorizing must 
here be understood in a wide signification ; as in- 
cluding in its meaning, not only the representation of 
truths, under a foreign, though analogous exterior, 
after the manner of our Lord's parables, but the 
practice of generalizing facts into principles, of adum- 
brating greater truths under the image of lesser, of 
implying the consequences or the basis of doctrines in 
their correlatives, and altogether those instances of 
thinking, reasoning, and teaching, which depend upon 
the use of propositions which are abstruse, and of con- 
nexions which are obscure, and which, in the case of 
uninspired authors, we consider profound, or poetical, 
or enthusiastic, or illogical, according to our opinion 
of those by whom they are exhibited, 

• a Thes. ii. 5. 15. Heb. y. 11. 

SECT. III.] The Church of Alexandria. 


This method of writing was the national peculiarity 
of that literature in which the Alexandrian Churcli 
was educated. The hieroglyphics of the ancient 
Egyptians mark the antiquity of a practice, which, in 
a later age, being enriched and diversified by the 
genius of their Greek conquerors, was applied as a key 
both to mythological legends, and to the sacred truths 
of Scripture, The Stoics were the first to avail them- 
selves of an expedient which smoothed the deformities 
of the Pagan creed. The Jews, and then the Chris- 
tians, of Alexandria, employed it in the interpretation 
of the inspired writings. Those ^vritings tliemselves 
have certainly an allegorical structure, and seem to 
countenance and invite an allegorical interpretation ; 
and in consequence, they have been referred by some 
critics to one and the same heathen origin, as if Moses 
first, and then Sl Paul, borrowed their symbolical 
system respectively from the Eg>-ptian and the Alex- 
andrian philosophy. 

But it is more natural to consider that the Divine 
Wisdom used on the sublimest of all subjects, media, 
which wc spontaneously select for the expression of 
solemn thought and elevated emotion ; and had no\ *\ 
especial regard to the practice in any particular 
country, which afforded but one instance of the oper- ^.-^ 
P^ation of a general principle of our nature. When the 
nind is occupied by some vast and awful subject of 

mtemplation, it is prompted to give utterance to its 

tilings in a figurative style ; for ordinaiy words will 
kt convey tlie admiration, nor literal words the 
Pence which possesses it ; and when, dazzled at 
ti with the great sight, it turns away for relief, it 
U catches in every new object which it encountets, 

58 The Church of Alexandria, [chap. L 

glimpses of its former vision, and colours its whole 
range of thought with this one abiding association. 
If, however, others have preceded it in the privilege 
of such contemplations, a well-disciplined piety will 
lead it to adopt the images which they have invented, 
both from affection for what is familiar to it, and from 
a fear of using unsanctioned language on a sacred 
subject Such are the feelings under which a deeply 
impressed mind addresses itself to the task of disclos- 
ing even its human thoughts ; and this account of it, 
if we may dare to conjecture, in its measure applies 
to the case of a mind under the immediate influence 
of inspiration. Certainly, the matter of Revelation 
suggests some such hypothetical explanation of the 
structure of the books which are its vehicle ; in which 
the divinely-instructed imagination of the writers is 
ever glancing to and fro, connecting past things with 
future, illuminating God's lower providences and 
man's humblest services by allusions to the relations of 
the evangelical covenant, and then in turn suddenly 
leaving the latter to dwell upon those past dealings of 
God with man, which must not be forgotten merely 
because they have been excelled. No prophet ends 
his subject : his brethren after him renew, enlai^e, 
transfigure, or reconstruct it ; so that the Bible, though 
various in its parts, forms a whole, grounded on a few 
distinct doctrinal principles discernible throughout it; 
and is in consequence intelligible indeed in its general 
drift, but obscure in its text ; and even tempts the 
student, if I may so speak, to a lax and disrespectful 
interpretation of it. History is made the external 
garb of prophecy, and persons and facts become the 
figures of heavenly things. I need only refer, by way 

of instance, to tlie delineation of Abraham as the type 
of the accepted worshipper of God ; to the history of 
the lirazcn serpent ; to the prophetical bearing of the 
"call of Israel out of Egypt ;" to the pen;onification 
of the Church in the Apostolic Epistles as the reflected 
image of Christ ; and, further, to the mystical import, 
interpreted by our Lord Himself, of the title of God 
as the God of the Patriarchs. Above all other 
subjects, it need scarcely be said, the likeness of the 
promised Mediator is conspicuous thoughout the 
sacred volume as in a picture ; moving along the 
line of tlie history, in one or other of His destined 
offices, the dispenser of blessings in Joseph, the 
ms|)ircd interpreter of truth in Moses, the conqueror 
"1 Joshua, the active preacher in Samuel, the suffering 
'Combatant in David, and in Solomon the triumphant 
■d glorious king. 

Moreover, Scripture assigns the same uses to this 

^orical style, which were contemplated by the 

thers when they made it subservient to the Disciplina 

^ ^-eaiii ; viz. those of tiying the earnestness and 

P^^ience of inquirers, discriminating between the 

lud and the humble, and conveying instruction to 

tlicvcrs, and that in the most permanently impressive 

Ithout the world's sharing in the knowledge. 

ir Lord's remarks on the design of his own parables, 

a sufficient evidence of this intention. 

Thus there seemed every encouragement, from the 

njcture of Scripture, from the apparent causes 

"^■liich led to that stracture. and from the purposes to 

^'iiich it was actually applied by its Divine Author, to 

induce the Alexandrians to consider its text as 

primarily and directly the instrument of an allegorical 

I primarily an 

6o The Church of Alexandria, [chap^ ^^ 

teaching. And since it sanctions the principle Oi 
allegorizing by its own example, they would not 
consider themselves confined within the limits of the 
very instances which it supplies, because of the evident 
spiritual drift of various passages which, nevertheless, 
it does not interpret spiritually ; thus to the narrative 
contained in the twenty-second chapter of Genesis, 
few people will deny an evangelical import, though the 
New Testament itself nowhere assigns it Yet, on the 
other hand, granting that a certain liberty of interpre- 
tation, beyond the precedent, but according to the 
spirit of Scripture, be allowable in the Christian 
teacher, still few people will deny, that some rule 
is necessary as a safeguard against its abuse, in order 
to secure the sacred text from being explained away 
by the heretic, and misquoted and perverted by weak 
or fanatical minds. Such a safeguard we shall find 
in bearing cautiously in mind this consideration : viz. 
that (as a general rule), every passage of Scripture 
has some one definite and sufficient sense, which was 
prominently before the mind of the writer, or in the 
intention of the Blessed Spirit, and to which all other 
ideas, though they might arise, or be implied, still 
were subordinate. It is this true meaning of the text, 
which it is the business of the expositor to unfold. 
This it is, which every diligent student will think it a 
great gain to discover ; and, though he will not shut 
his eyes to the indirect and instructive applications of 
which the text is capable, he never will so reason as to 
forget that there is one sense peculiarly its own. 
Sometimes it is easily ascertained, sometimes it can 
be scarcely conjectured ; sometimes it is contained in 
the literal sense of the words employed, as in the 

SECT. HI.] The Church of Alexandria, 

historical parts ; sometimes it is the allegorical, as in 
our Lord's parables ; or sometimes the secondary 
sense may be more important in after aj^es than the 
original, as in the instance of the Jewish ritual ; still 
in all cases (to speak generally) there is but one main 
pnnriary sense, whether literal or figurative; a regard 
for which must ever keep us sober and reverent in 
'he employment of those allegorisms, which, neverthe- 
less, our Christian liberty does not altogether forbid. 

The protest of Scripture against ail careless exposi- 
•iotis of its meaning, is strikingly implied in the 
extreme reserve and caution, with which it unfolds its 
owrn typical signification ; for instance, in the Mosaic 
•^tual no hint was given of its undoubted prophetical 
^^^nractcr, lest an excuse should be furnished to the 
■'sraclitish worshipper for undcr\-aluing its actual 
^c>»iimand3. So, again, the secondary and distinct 
"^ «^amng of prophecy, is commonly hidden from view 
" the veil of the literal text, lest its immediate scope 
k-ould be overlooked ; when that is once fulfilled, the 
«:csses of the sacred language seem to open, and 
*"%■€ up the further truths deposited in them. Our 
— ord, probably, in the prophecy recorded in the 
^-*ospeIs, was not careful (if I may so express myself) 
^^lat His disciples should distinguish between His 
•^nal and immediate coming ; thinking it a less error 
^Ttat they should consider the last day approaching, 
Xliiui that they should foi^et tJieir own duties in the 
Wnteniplation of the future fortunes of the Church, 
Nay. even types fulfilled, if they be historical, seem 
metiincs purposely to be left without the sanction of 
^n interpretation, lest we should neglect the instruc- 
tion still conveyed in a literal narrative. This accounts 

I waa SI 

62 The Church of Alexandria, [chap, "i* 

for the silence obsei-ved concerning the cvangeli^*^^ 
import, to which I have already referred, of t^^^ 
sacrifice of Isaac, which contains a definite and p>^^' 
manent moral lesson, as a matter of fact, howc^^^' 
clear may be its further meaning as emblematical ^ 
our Lord's sufferings on the cross. In corroboration. ^ 
this remark, let it be observed, that there seems ^ 
have been in the Church a traditionary explanatiort ^ 
these historical types, derived from the Apostles, b^ ^ 
kept among the secret doctrines, as being dangercr "■- 
to the majority of hearers ^ ; and certainly St. Pa-^-J 
in the Epistle to the Hebrews, affords us an instan <^ 
of such a tradition, both as existing and as secr^' 
(even though it be shown to be of Jewish origin^:* 
when, first checking himself and questioning his 
brethren's faith, he communicates, not without hesi- 
tation, the evangelical scope of the account of Mel- 
chisedec, as introduced into the book of Genesis. 

As to the Christian writers of Alexandria, if they 
erred in their use of the Allegory, their error did not 
lie in the mere adoption of an instrument which Philo 
or the Egyptian hierophants had employed (though 
this is sometimes made the ground of objection), for 
Scripture itself had taken it out of the hands of such 
authorities. Nor did their error lie in the mere 
circumstance of their allegorizing Scripture, where 
Scripture gave no direct countenance ; as if we might 
not interpret the sacred word for ourselves, as we 
interpret the events of life, by the principles which 
itself supplies. But they erred, whenever and as far 
as they carried their favourite rule of exposition 

^ Vide Mosheim, de Reb. Ant. Const, saec. ii. § 34. Ros^nmuUcr, 
Hist. Interpr. iii. 2. § r. 

p • 1 

SKCT, III.] TJie Church of Alexandria. 63 ] 

beyond the spirit of the canon above laid down, so as 
to obscure the primary meaninf; of Scripture, and to 
weaken tlie force of historical facts and doctrinal 
declarations ; and much more, if at any time they 
degraded the inspired text to the office of conveying 
the thoughts of uninspired teachers on subjects not 

And, as it is impossible to draw a precise line 

between the use and abuse of allegorizing, so it is 

impossible also to ascertain the exact degree of blame 

incurred by individual teachers who familiarly indulge 

in it. They may be faulty as commentators, yet 

instructive as devotional writers ; and their hberty in 

interpretation is to be regulated by the state of mind 

'1 which tliey address themselves to the work, and by 

■'leir proficiency in the knowledge and practice of 

t-'li ristian duty. So far as men use tlie language of 

t'x^ Bible (as is often done in poems and works of 

"^^tion) as the mere instrument of a cultivated fancy, 

'•^ make their style attractive or impressive, so far, it 

'^ ■^eedless to say, they are cj'iilty of a great irreverence 

^*^*x*ards its Divine Author. On the other hand, it is 

^*-* «T;ly no extravagance to assert that there are minds 

''^-^ gifted and disciplined as to approach the position 

*^*^^ciipied by the inspired writers, and therefore able to 

^tSply their words with a fitness, and entitled to do so 

^^ith a freedom, which is unintelligible to the dull or 

**cartless criticism of inferior understandings. So far 

^^cn as tlie Alexandrian Fathers partook of such a 

singular gift of grace (and Origen surely bears on him 

Ihe tokens of some exalted moral dignit}'), not incited 

by a capricious and presumptuous imagination, but 

kuming witli that vigorous faith, which, seeing God in 

64 The Clmrch of Alexandria, [chap. ^• 

all things, does and suffers all for His sake, and, v/hH^ 
filled with the contemplation of His supreme glorj^^ 
still discharges each command in the exactness of it^ 
real meaning, in the same degree they stand no^ 
merely excused, but are placed immeasurably abov^ 
the multitude of those who find it so easy to censure 
them. — And so much on the Allegory, as the means 
of observing the Disciplina Arcani, 

The same method of interpretation was used for 
another purpose, which is more open to censure. 
When Christian controversialists were urged by objec- 
tions to various passages in the history of the Old 
Testament, as derogatory to the Divine Perfections or 
to the Jewish saints, they had recourse to an allegori- 
cal explanation by way of answer. Thus Origcn 
spiritualizes the account of Abraham's denying his 
wife, the polygamy of the Patriarchs, and Noah's 
intoxication 2. It is impossible to defend such a mode 
of interpretation, which seems to imply a want of 
faith in those who had recourse to it. Doubtless this 
earnestness to exculpate the saints of the elder cove- 
nant is partly to be attributed to a noble jealousy for 
the honour of God, and a reverence for the memory of 
those who, on the whole, rise in their moral attain- 
ments far above their fellows, and well deserve the 
confidence in their virtue which the Alexandrians 
manifest. Yet God has given us rules of right and 
wrong, which we must not be afraid to apply in 
estimating the conduct of even the best of mere men ; 

* Heut. Origen. p. 171, RosenmuUcr supra. [On this subject, vidt; a 
striking passage in Facundus, Dcf. Tr. Cap. xii. 1, pp. 568-9.] 

SECT, III,] The Church of Alexandria. 65 

though errors are thereby tlelectod, the scandal of 

which we ourselves have to bear in our own day. So 

far must be granted in fairness ; but some have gone 

1 to censure the principle itself vi Inch this procedure 

involved : viz. that of representing religion, for the 

purpose of conciliating the heathen, in the form most 

attractive to their prejudices ; and, as it was generally 

'^ceived in the Primitive Church, and the considerations 

'^hich it involves are not without their bearings upon 

"'e doctrinal question in which we shall be presently 

.'^'^S^JS'^. I will devote some space here to the exam- 

"^ation of it. 

The mode of arguing and teaching in question 
^liich is called econofiikal'^ by the ancients, can 
*^arcely be disconnected from the Disciplina Arcaui, 
^s will appear by some of the instances which follow, 
_*\ough it is convenient to consider it by itself. If it 
*s necessary to contrast the two with each other, the 
'^ne may be considered as withholding the truth, and 
the other as setting it out to advantage. The 
Bconomy is certainly sanctioned by St. Paul in 
his own conduct. To the Jews he became as a Jew, 
and as without the Law to the heathen"*. His 
behaviour at Athens is the most remarkable instance 
in his history of this method of acting. Instead of 
uttering any invective against their Polytheism, he 
began a discourse upon the Unity of the Divine 
Nature ; and then proceeded to claim the altar 5, 

St. Paul, vide Lardner's Heathen 

' [Vide this argumtnt in Ihc mouth of Dionysiua {in Euscb. Hist. vii. 
, oil irivre; ?rai/Tas, &c.) as his plea for liberty of worship, with the 

66 The Church of Alexandria, [chap. I. 

consecrated in the neighbourhood to the unknown 
God, as the property of Him whom he preached to 
them, and to enforce his doctrine of the Divine 
Immateriality, not by miracles, but by argument, 
and that founded on the words of a heathen poet. 
This was the example which the Alexandrians set 
before them in their intercourse with the heathen, as 
may be shown by the following instances. 

Theonas, Bishop of Alexandria (A.D. 282 — 3CX)), 
has left his directions for the behaviour of Christians 
who were in the service of the imperial court The 
utmost caution is enjoined them, not to give offence 
to the heathen emperor. If a Christian was appointed 
librarian, he was to take good care not to show any 
contempt for secular knowledge and the ancient 
writers. He was advised to make himself familiar 
with the poets, philosophers, orators, and historians, 
of classical literature ; and, while discussing their 
writings, to take incidental opportunities of recom' 
mending the Scriptures, introducing mention of Christ, 
and by degrees revealing the real dignity of Hia 

The conversion of Gregory of Neocaisarea, (A.D. 231) 
affords an exemplification of this procedure in an 
individual case. He had originally attached himself 
to the study of rhetoric and the law, but was persuaded 
by Origen, whose lectures he attended, to exchange 
these pursuits, first for science, then for philosophy, 
then for theology, so far as right notions concerning 
religion could be extracted from the promiscuous, 

• Rose's Neander, Eccl. Hist. voL L p. 145. **Insurgerc potent 
Christi mentio, explicabitur paullAtim, ejus sola diyinitas," Tillcm. 
Mem. vol. iv. p. 240, 241. 

TT. HI.] T/i£ Church of Alexandria. 67 

rritings of the various philosophical sects. Thus, 
■while professedly teaching him Pagan philosophy, his 
skilful master insensibly enlightened him in the 
knowledge of the Christian faitL Then leading him 
to Scripture, he explained to him its difiicultics as 
they arose ; till Gregory, overcome by the force of 
truth, announced to his instructor his intention of 
exchanging the pursuits of this world for the service 
of God ^ 
Clement's Stromateis (A.D. 200), a work which has 
I already furnished us with illustrations of the Alexan- 
■dfian metliod of teaching, was written with the design 
Fof converting the learned heathen, and pursues the 
same plan which Origcn adopted towards Gregorj'. 
The author therein professes his wish to blend together 
philosophy and religion, refutes those who censure the 
former, shows the advantage of it, and how it is to be 
applied. This leading at once to an inquiry concern- 
ing what particular school of philosophy is to be held 
of divine origin, he answers in a celebrated passage, 
that all are to be referred thither as far as they 
respectively inculcate the principles of piety and 
morality, and none, except as containing the portions 
and forcshadowings of the truth. " By philosophy," 
he says, " I do not mean the Stoic, nor the Platonic, 
nor the Epicurean and Aristotelic, but all good 
doctrine in every one of the schools, all precepts of 
holiness combined with religious knowledge. All this, 
I taken together, or the Eclectic, I call philosophy: 
■whereas the rest are mere forgeries of the human 

^ * Tbis WM Origen's Usual method, vide Euscb. EccI, llisi. ri. i8. 
He tias signified It himself in thcst woids! -yvfivao-wv fici' ^/«cv <ri-at 
*V ^VX9* ^ SvSfmnlvijv o-o^tav, riXoi Si rgr $€iav. Ctanir, 

F 2 


68 The Church of Alexaftdria. [chap. i. 

intellect, and in no respect to be accounted divine 8** 
At the same time, to mark out the peculiar divinity 
of Revealed Religion, he traces all the philosophy of 
the heathen to the teaching of the Hebrew sages, 
earnestly maintaining its entire subserviency to Chris- 
tianity, as but the love of that truth which the 
Scriptures really impart 

The same general purpose of conciliating the 
heathen, and (as far as might be,) indulging the 
existing fashions to which their literature was sub- 
jected, may be traced in the slighter compositions ^ 
which the Christians published in defence of their 
religion', being what in this day might be called 
pamphlets, written in imitation of speeches after 
the manner of Isocrates, and adorned with those 
graces of language which the schools taught, and 
th^ inspired Apostle has exhibited in his Epistle to 
the Hebrews. Clement's Exhortation to the Gentiles 
is a specimen of this style of writing ; as also those of 
Athenagoras and Tatian, and that ascribed to Justin 

Again : — the last-mentioned Father supplies us 
with an instance of an economical relinquishment 
of a sacred doctrine. When Justin Martyr, in his 
argument with the Jew Trypho, (A.D. 150.) finds 
himself unable to convince him from the Old Testa- 
ment of the divinity of Christ, he falls back upon the 
doctrine of His divine Mission, as if this were a point 

• Clem. Strom, i. 7. 

• Xoyofc. [Such are those (Pagan) of Maximus Tyrius. Three 
sacred narratives of Eusebius Emesenus are to be found at Vienna. 
Aug^sti has published one of them : Bonn, 1820. Vide Lambec. BibL 
Vind. iv. p. 286.] 

^ Dodwell in Iren. Diss. vi. $ 14. 16. 

SF.CT. III.] Tfie Church of Alexandria. 

indisputable on the one hand, and on the other, 
affording a sufficient ground, from which to advance, 
when expedient, to the proof of the full evangelical 
truth^. In the same passage, moreover, as arguing 
with an unbeliever, he permits himself to speak with- 
out an anathema of those {the Ebionites) who pro- 
fessed Christianity, and yet denied Christ's divinity. 
Athanasius himself fully recognizes the propriety of 
this concealment of the doctrine on a fitting occasion, 
and thus accounts for the silence of the Apostles 
concerning it, in their speeches recorded in the book 
of Acts, viz. that they were unwilling, by a disclosure 
of it, to prejudice the Jews against those miracles, the 
acknowledgment of which was a first step towards 
their receiving it^. 

Gregory of NeocKsarea (A.D. 240 — 270), whose con- 
vasion by Origen has already been adduced in illus- 
tration, furnishes us in his own conduct with a similar 
but stronger instance of an economical concealment 
of the full truth. It seems tliat certain heretical 
teachers, in the time of Basil, ascribed to Gregory, 
whether by way of censure or in self-defence, the 
Sabellian view of the Trinity ; and, moreover, the 
belief that Christ was a creature. The occasion of 
these statements, as imputed to him, was a vivA voce 
controversy with a heathen, which had been taken 
down in writing by the bystanders. The charge of 
Sabellianism is refuted by Gregoiy's extant writings ; 
both imputations, however, are answered by St. Basil, 

■ Vidle Bull, Judic. Eccl. vK 7. 

• Alhan> dc Sent. Dionys. 8. Theodoret, Chrysostora, and otlifts say 
" ■ Soicer. Thesaurus, wrb srtoi,\v,av, and Whitby on 

70 The Church of Alexandria, [chap. i. 

and that, on the principle of controversy which I have 
above attempted to describe. "When Gregory," he 
says, " declared that the Father and Son were two in 
our conception of them, one in hypostasis^ he spoke 
not as teaching doctrine, but as arguing with an 
unbeliever, viz. in his disputation with iElianus ; but 
this distinction our heretical opponents could not 
enter into, much as they pride themselves on the 
subtlety of their intellect. Even granting there were 
no mistakes in taking the notes (which, please God, it 
is my intention to prove from the text as it now 
stands), it is to be supposed, that he did not think it 
necessary to be very exact in his doctrinal terms, 
when employed in converting a heathen ; but in some 
things, even to concede to his feelings, that he might 
gain him over to the cardinal points. Accordingly, 
you may find many expressions there, of which 
heretics now take great advantage, such as * creature,* 
*made,* and the like. So again, many statements 
which he has made concerning the Incarnation, are 
referred to the Divine Nature of the Son by those 
who do not skilfully enter into his meaning ; as, 
indeed, is the very expression in question which they 
have circulated"^." 

I will here again instance a parallel use of the 
Economy on the part of Athanasius himself, and will 
avail myself of the words of the learned Petavius 
" Even Athanasius," he says, " whose very gift it was, 
above all other Fathers, to possess a clear and 
accurate knowledge of the Catholic doctrine con- 
cerning the Trinity, so that all succeeding antagonists 
of Arianism may be truly said to have derived their 

^ Basil. Epist. ccx. § 5. 

: m.] The Church of Alexandria. 


powers and their arguments from him, even this keen 
and vigilant champion of orthodoxy, in aiding with 
the Gentiles for the Divinity and incarnation of the 
Word, urges them with considerations drawn from 
their own philosophical notions concerning Him. 
Not that he was ignorant how unlike orthodoxy, and 
how like Arianism, such notions were, but he bore 
in mind the necessity of favourably disposing the 
minds of the Gentiles to listen to his teaching ; and 
he was aware that it was one thing to lay the rudi- 
ments of the faith in an ignorant or heathen mind, 
and another to defend the faith against heretics, or to 
teach it dogmatically. For instance, in answering 
their objection to the Divine Word having taken flesh, 
which especially offended them, he bids them consider 
M-hether they are not inconsistent in dwelling upon 
this, while they themselves believe that there is a 
Divine Word, the presiding principle and soul of the 
world, tlirough the movements of which He is visibly 
tJisplayed ; ' for what (he asks) does Christianity say 
more than that the Word has presented Himself to 
the inspection of our senses by the instrumentality of 
a body ? ' And yet it is certain that the Father and 
the pervading Word of the Platonists, differed 
materially from the Sacred Persons of the Trinity, 
as we hold the doctrine, and Athanasius too, in every 
page of his writingsS." 

There are instances in various ways of the econo- 
I 4nical method, that is, of accommodation to the feelings 
md prejudices of the hearer, in leading him to tlie 

Vea.1. de Trin. ii. prwf. 3, \ s- [abridged a 

fd. Vide 
iii. i.jip. 

72 The Chtnrh of Alexandria, [chap. i. 

reception of a novel or unacceptable doctrine. It 
professes to be founded in the actual necessity of the 
case ; because those who are strangers to the tone of 
thought and principles of the speaker, cannot at once 
be initiated into his system, and because they must 
begin with imperfect views ; and therefore, if he is to 
teach them at all, he must put before them large pro- 
positions, which he has afterwards to modify, or make 
assertions which are but parallel or analogous to the 
truth, rather than coincident with it. And it cannot 
be denied that those who attempt to speak at all 
times the naked truth, or rather the commonly- 
received expression of it, are certain, more than other 
men, to convey wrong impressions of their meaning 
to those who happen to be below them, or to differ 
widely from them, in intelligence and cast of mind. 
On the other hand, the abuse of the Economy in the 
hands of unscrupulous reasoners, is obvious. Even 
the honest controversialist or teacher will find it very 
difficult to represent without misrepresenting, what it 
is yet his duty to present to his hearers with caution 
or reserve. Here the obvious rule to guide our 
practice is, to be careful ever to maintain substantial 
truth in our use of the economical method. It is thus 
we lead forward children by degrees, influencing and 
impressing their minds by means of their own confined 
conceptions of things, before we attempt to introduce 
them to our own ; yet at the same time modelling 
their thoughts according to the analogy of those to 
which we mean ultimately to bring them. Again, the 
information given to the blind man, that scarlet was 
like the sound of a trumpet, is an instance of an unex- 
ceptionable economy, since it was as true as it could 

SECT, m.j 

be under the circumstances of the case, conveying a 
substantially correct impression as far as it went. 

In applying this rule to the instances above given, 
it is plain that Justin, Gregory, or Athanasius, were 
justifiable or not in their Economy, according as they 
did or did not practically mislead their opponents. 
Merely to leave a man in errors which he had inde- 
pendently of us. or to abstain from removing them, 
cannot be blamed as a fault, and may be a duty ; 
though it is so difficult to hit the mark in these per- 
plexing cases, that it is not wonderful, should these 
or other Fathers have failed at times, and said more or 
less than was proper. Again, in the instances of 
St. Paul, Theonas, Origen, and Clement, the doctrine 
which their conduct implies, is the Divinity of Pagan- 
ism ; a true doctrine, though the heathen whom they 
addressed would not at first rightly apprehend it. 
But I am aware that some persons will differ from me 
here, and others will be perplexed about my meaning. 
So let this be a reserved point, to be considered when 
we have finished the present subject. 

The Alexandrian Father who has already been 
quoted, accurately describes the rules w'hich should 
guide the Christian in speaking and acting econo- 
mically. " Being fully persuaded of the omnipresence 
of God," says Clement, "and ashamed to come short 
of the truth, he is satisfied with the approval of God, 
and of his own conscience. Whatever is in his mind, is 
also on his tongue ; towards those who arc fit 
recipients, both in speaking and living, he har- 
monizes his profession with his thoughts. He both 
^^H'thinks and speaks the truth ; except when careful 
^^^Ureatment is necessary, and then, as a physician for the 

74 TIu Church of Alexaitdria. fcHAP. L 

good of his patients, he will lie, or rather utter a lie, 
as the Sophists say. For instance, the noble Apostle 
circumcised Timothy, while he cried out and wrote 
down, * Circumcision availeth not* . . Nothing, how- 
ever, but his neighbours good will lead him to do 
this. . . He gives himself up for the Church, for the 
friends whom he hath begotten in the faith for an 
ensample to those who have the ability to undertake 
the high office (economy) of a religious and charitable 
teacher, for an exhibition of truth in his words, and 
for the exercise of love towards the Lord 6." 

Further light will be thrown upon the doctrine of 
the Economy, by considering it as exemplified in the 
dealings of Providence towards man. The word 
occurs in St. Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians, where it 
is used for that series of Divine appointments viewed 
as a whole, by which the Gospel is introduced and 
realized among mankind, being translated in our 
version ** dispensation" It will evidently bear a wider 
sense, embracing the Jewish and patriarchal dispensa- 
tions, or any Divine procedure, greater or less, which 
consists of means and an end. Thus it is applied by 
the Fathers, to the history of Christ's humiliation, as 
exhibited in the doctrines of His incarnation, ministry, 
atonement, exaltation, and mediatorial sovereignty, 
and, as such distinguished from the '' theologia'' or 
the collection of truths relative to His personal in- 
dwelling in the bosom of God. Again, it might with 
equal fitness be used for the general system of provi- 

• Clem. Strom, vii. 8, 9 (abridged). [Vide Plat. Leg. ii. 8, o^JiroTC 
^cvScTcu, Kov i/r€v8os ^^fQ' Scxt.Empif.adv. Log. p. 378, withnotesT 
and IT. On this whole subject, vide the Author's " Apologia," notes 
F and G, pp. 343 -363.] 

PsECT. m.] The Church of Alexandria, 75 

dence by which the world's course is carried on ; or, 
again, for the work of creation itself, as opposed to 
the absolute perfection of the Eternal God, that 
internal concentration of His Attributes in self-con- 
templation, which took place on tlie seventh day, 
when He rested from all the work which He had 
made. And since this everlasting and unchangeable 
quiescence is the simplest and truest notion we can 
obtain of the Deity, it seems to follow, that strictly 
speaking, all those so-called Economics or dispensa- 
tions, which display His character in action, are but 
condescensions to the infirmity and peculiarity of 
our minds, shadowy representations of realities which 
are incomprehensible to creatures such as ourselves, 
who estimate ever^'thing by the rule of associa- 
tion and arrangement, by the notion of a purpose 
and plan, object and means, parts and whole. What, 
for instance, is the revelation of general moral laws, 
their infringement, their tedious victory, the en- 
durance of the wicked, and the " winking at the 
times of ignorance," but an " Ecoiiomia " of greater 
truths untold, the best practical communication of 
them which our minds in their present state will 
admit ? What are the phenomena of the external 
world, but a divine mode of conveying to the 
mind the realities of existence, individuality, and the 
influence of being on being, the best possible, though 
beguiling the imagination of most men with a harmless 
but unfounded belief in matter as distinct from the 
impressions on their senses? This at least is the 
opinion of some philosophere, and whether the par- 
^H^ tWlar theory be right or wrong, it serves as an illus- 
^^■tntion hero of the great truth which we are consider- 

76 Tlu Church of AUxarsdrieu [chap. i. 

fn<^". Or wvrat. a^ain, as otiiers fc^Id, is the popular 
ar^-unier*t frotn 6nzl ca^jses bet an ^ EccKamiaT suited 
to the practical wants of the miiltitode^ as teaching 
them in the simplest wajr the actfre presence of Him, 
who after all dwells intellt^Iy, prior to argument, in 
their heart and conscience? And though on the 
mind's first mastering this general principle; it seems 
to it%lf at the moment to have cut all the ties which 
bind it to the unf^'erse; and to be floated off upon the 
ocean of interminable scepticism : yet a true sense of 
its own weakness brings it back, the instinctive per- 
suasion that it must be intended to rely on something; 
and therefore that the information given, though 
philosophically inaccurate, must be practically certain; 
a sure, confidence in the love of Him who cannot 
deceive, and who has impressed the image and 
thought of Himself and of His will upon our original 
nature. Here then we may lay down with certainty 
^A a consolatory truth, what was but a rule of duty 
when we were reviening the Economies of man ; viz. 
that whatever is told us from heaven, is true in so full 
and substantial a sense, that no possible mistake can 
^xv^ii przctically from following it. And it may be 
added, on the other hand, that the greatest risk will 
result from attempting to be wiser than God has 
marie us, and to outstep in the least degree the circle 
which is prescribed as the limit of our range This is 
but the duty of implicit faith in Him who knows what 
is good for us, and who has ordained that in our prac- 
tical concerns intellectual ability should do no more 
than enlighten us in the difficulties of our situation, 
not in the solutions of them. Accordingly, we may 
safely admit the first chapter of the book of Job, the 

SECT. HI.] T^e Church of Alexandria. 77 

twenty-second of the first book of Kings, and other 
passages of Scripture, to be Economies, that is, repre- 
sentations conveying substantial truth in the form in 
which we are best able to receive it ; and to be 
accepted by us and used in their literal sense, as our 
highest wisdom, because we have no poWers of mind 
equal to the more philosophical determination of 
them. Again, the Mosaic Dispensation was an 
i£conomy, simulating (so to say) unchangeableness, 
when from the first it was destined to be abolished. 
And our Blessed Lord's conduct on earth abounds 
with the Uke gracious and considerate condescension 
to the weakness of His creatures, who would have 
been driven either to a terrified inaction or to presump- 
tion, had tliey known then as aftenvards the secret of 
His Divine Nature. 

I will add two or three instances, in which this doc- 
trine of the Divine Economies has been wrongly ap- 
plied ; and I do so from necessity, lest the foregoing 
remarks should seem to countenance errors, which I 
am most desirous at all times and every where to pro- 
test against. 

For instance, the Economy has been employed to 
the disparagement of the Old Testament Saints ; as 
if the praise bestowed on them by Almighty God were 
but economically given, that is, with reference to their 
times and circumstances; their real insight into moral 
truth being possibly below the average standard of 
knowledge in matters of faith and practice received 
among nations rescued from the rude and semi-savage 
state in which they are considered to have lived. And 
again, it has been even supposed, that injunctions, as 
well as praise, have been thus given them, which an 

78 The C/mrck of Alexandria, [chap., i. 

enlightened age is at liberty to criticize ; for instance, 
the command to slay Isaac has sometimes been viewed 
as an economy, based upon certain received ideas in 
Abraham's day, concerning the innocence and merit 
of human sacrifice. It is enough to have thus dis-^ 
claimed participation in these theories, which of course 
are no objection to the general doctrine of the Econ- 
omy, unless indeed it could be shown, that those who 
hold a principle are answerable for all the applica- 
tions arbitrarily made of it by the licentious ingenuity 
of others. 

Again, the principle of the Economy has sometimes 
been applied to the interpretation of the New Testa- 
ment. It has been said, for instance, that the Epistle 
to the Hebrews does not state the simple truth in the 
sense in which the Apostles themselves believed it, 
but merely as it would be palatable to the Jews. The 
advocates of this hypothesis have proceeded to main- 
tain, that the doctrine of the Atonement is no part of 
the essential and permanent evangelical system. To 
a conscientious reasoner, however, it is evident, that 
the structure of the Epistle in question is so intimately 
connected with the reality of the expiatory scheme, 
that to suppose the latter imaginary, would be to im- 
pute to the writer, not an economy (which always pre- 
serves substantial truth), but a gross and audacious 

A parallel theory to this has been put forward by 
men of piety among the Predestinarians, with a. view 
of reconciling the inconsistency between their faith and 
practice. They have suggested, that the promises and 
threats of Scripture are founded on an economy, which 
is needful to effect the conversion of the elect, but 

SECT. III.] The Church of Alexandria. 

clears up and vanishes under the light of the true 
spiritual perception, to which the converted at length 
attain. This has been noticed in another connexion, 
and will here serve as one among many illustrations 
whidi might be given, of die fallacious application of 
a true principle. And so much upon the Economia. 

A question was Just now reserved, as interfering 
with the subject then before us. In what sense can it 
be said, that there is any connection between Pagan- 
ism and Christianity so real, as to warrant the 
preacher of the latter to conciliate idolaters by 
allusion to it ? St. Paul evidently connects the true 
religion with the existing systems which he laboured 
to supplant, in his speech to the Athenians in the 
Acts, and his example is a sufficient guide to mission- 
aries now, and a full justification of the line of 
conduct pursued by the Alexandrians, in the instances 
similar -to it; but are we able to account for his 
conduct, and ascertain the principle by which it was 
regulated ? I think we can ; and the exhibition of it 
will set before the reader another doctrine of the 
Alexandrian school, which it is as much to our 
purpose to understand, and which I shall call the 
divinity of Traditionary Religion. 
\ We know well enough for practical purposes what 
pis meant by Revealed Religion ; viz. that it is the 
doctrine taught in the Mosaic and Christian dispensa- 
tions, and contained in the Holy Scriptures, and is 
from God in a sense in which no other doctrine can 
be said to be from Him. Yet if we would speak 
correctly, we must confess, on the authority of the 
Bible itself, that all knowledge pf religion is from 

8o Tlie Church of Alexafidria. [chap. I. 

Him, and not only that which the Bible has trans- 
mitted to us. There never was a time when God had 
not spoken to man, and told him to a certain extent 
his duty. His injunctions to Noah, the common 
father of all mankind, is the first recorded fact of the 
sacred history after the deluge. Accordingly, we are 
expressly told in the New Testament, that at no time 
He left Himself without witness in the world, and that 
in every nation He accepts those who fear and obey 
Him. It would seem, then, that there is something 
true and divinely revealed, in every religion all over 
the earth, overloaded, as it may be, and at times even 
stifled by the impieties which the corrupt will and 
understanding of man have incorporated with it. 
Such are the doctrines of the power and presence of 
an invisible God, of His moral law and governance, of 
the obligation of duty, and the certainty of a just 
judgment, and of reward and punishment, as eventually 
dispensed to individuals ; so that Revelation, properly 
speaking, is an universal, not a local gift; and the 
distinction between the state of Israelites formerly and 
Christians now, and that of the heathen, is, not that 
we can, and they cannot attain to future blessedness, 
but that the Church of God ever has had, and the rest 
of mankind never have had, authoritative documents of 
truth, and appointed channels of communication with 
Him. The word and the Sacraments are the charac- 
teristic of the elect people of God ; but all men have 
had more or less the guidance of Tradition, in addition 
to those internal notions of right and wrong which the 
Spirit has put into the heart of each individual. 

This vague and uncertain family of religious truths, 
originally from God, but sojourning without the sane- 

SECT, in.] The Church of Alexandria. 

tion of miracle, or a definite home, as pilgrims up and 
down the world, and discernible and separable from 
the corrupt legends with which they arc mixed, by the 
spiritual mind alone, may be called the Dispensation of 
Faganiivi, after tlie example of the learned Father 
already quoted 7, And further. Scripture gives us 
reason to believe that the traditions, thus originally 
delivered to mankind at large, have been secretly 
re-animated and enforced by new communications 
Irom the unseen world ; though these were not of 
such a nature as to be produced as evidence, or used 
as criteria and tests, and roused the attention rather 
than informed the understandings of the heathen. 
The book of Genesis contains a record of the Dispen- 
sation of Natural Religion, or Paganism, as well as of 
the patriarchal. The dreams of Pharaoh and Abime- 
lech. as of Nebuchadnezzar aftenvards, are instances 
of the dealings of God with those to whom He did not 
vouchsafe a written revelation. Or should it be said, 
that these particular cases merely come within the 
range of the Divine supernatural Governance which 
was in their neighbourhood, — an assertion which 
requires proof, — let the book of Job be taken as a less 
suspicious instance of the dealings of God with the 
heathen. Job was a pagan in the same sense in which 
the Eastern nations are Pagans in the present day. 
He lived among idolatersS, yet he and his friends had 
' beared themselves from the superstitions with which 
tlie true creed was beset ; and while one of them was 

' Clement sayn, T^ ^lAttroi^v 'EAAjjiriv mov Smfit'imp' oiKtioF 
i^<j<r9ttt, vwa^aBjHW uSo'iti' rifi koto. Xpunay •^•XoiriHJtiiii. Strum 
Vl. p. 648. 

* Jubuii, 16— 2H. 

82 The Church of Alexafidrta. [chap. i. 

divinely instructed by dreams^, he himself at length 
heard the voice of God out of the whirhvind, in recom- 
pense for his long trial and his faithfulness under it'. 
Why should not the book of Job be accepted by us, 
as a gracious intimation given us, who are God's sons, 
for our comfort, when we are anxious about our 
brethren who are still " scattered abroad " in an evil 
world ; an intimation that the Sacrifice, which is the 
hope of Christians, has its power and its success, 
wherever men seek God with their whole heart? — If it 
be objected that Job lived in a less corrupted age than 
the times of ignorance which followed, Scripture, as if 
for our full satisfaction, draws back the curtain farther 
still in the history of Balaam. There a bad man and 
a heathen is made the oracle of true divine messages 
about doing justly, and loving mercy, and \valking 
humbly ; nay, even among the altars of superstition, 
the Spirit of God vouchsafes to utter prophecy^. And 
so in the cave of Endor, even a saint was^ent from 
the dead to join the company of an apostate king, and 
of the sorceress whose aid he was seeking 3 Accord- 
ingly, there is nothing unreasonable in the notion, that 
there may have been heathen poets and sages, or 
sibyls again, in a certain extent divinely illumina- 
ted, and 'organs through whom religious and moral 
truth was conveyed to their countrymen; though their 
knowledge of the Power from whom the gift came, 
nay, and their perception of the gift as existing in 
themselves, may have been very faint or defective 

* Ibid. iv. 13, &c. 

' Job xxxviii. i ; xlii. 10, &c. [Vide also Gen. zli. 45. Exod. iii. i. 
Jon. i. 5 — 16.] 

* Numb. xxH. — xxiv. Mic. vi. 5—8. 

* 1 Sam. xxviii. 14. 

This doctrine, thus impetfuctly sketched, shall now 
be presented to the reader hi the words of St, Clement. 
" To the Word of God," he says, " all the host of 
angels and heavenly powers is subject, revealing, as He 
does. His holy office {economy), for Him who has put 
all things under Him. Wherefore, His are all men ; 
some actually knowing Him, others not as yet : some 
as friends " (Christians), " others as faithful servants " 
C J en's), "others as simply ser\'ants " (heathen). " He is 
the Teacher, who instructs the enlightened Christian 
by mysteries, and the faithful labourer by cheerful 
hopes, and the hard of heart with His keen corrective 
discipline ; so that His providence is particular, 
public, and universal. . He it is who gives to the 
Greeks their philosophy by His ministering Angels , . 
for He is the Saviour not of these or those, but of all, 
■ • His precepts, both the former and the latter, are 
•irawn forth from one fount ; those who were before 
the Law, not suffered to be without law, those who do 
not hear the Jewish philosophy, not surrendered to an 
""bridled course. Dispensing in former times to some 
"is precepts, to others philosophy, now at length, by 
His own personal coming, He has closed the course 
°^ unbelief, which is henceforth inexcusable ; Greek 
and barbarian " (that is, Jew) " being led forward by a 
separate process to that perfection which is through 

I f this doctrine be scriptural, it is not difficult to 

"'^tcrmine the fine of conduct which is to be observed 

"y the Christian apologist and missionary. Believing 

God's hand to be in every system, so far forth as it is 

[^*^*e (though Scripture alone is the depositary of His 

G 2 

84 TIu Church of Alexandria, [chap, l 

unadulterated and complete revelation), he will, after 
St. Paul's manner, seek some points in the existing 
superstitions as the basis of his own instructions, 
instead of indiscriminately condemning and discard- 
ing the whole assemblage of heathen opinions and 
practices ; and he will address his hearers, not as men 
in a state of actual perdition, but as being in imminent 
danger of " the wrath to come," because they are in 
bondage and ignorance, and probably under God's 
displeasure, that is, the vast majority of them are so in 
fact ; but not necessarily so, from the very circum- 
stance of their being heathen. And while he stren- 
uously opposes all that is idolatrous, immoral, and 
profane, in their creed, he will profess to be leading 
them on to perfection, and to be recovering and 
purifying, rather than reversing the essential principles 
of their belief. 

A number of corollaries may be drawn from this 
,view of the relation of Christianity to Paganism, by 
jway of solving difficulties which often perplex the 
mind. For example, we thus perceive the utter 
impropriety of ridicule and satire as a means of pre- 
paring a heathen population for the reception of the 
truth. Of course it is right, soberly and temperately, 
.to expose the absurdities of idol-worship ; but some- 
times it is maintained that a writer, such as the 
infamous Lucian, who scoffs at an established religion 
altogether, is the suitable preparation for the Christian 
preacher, — as if infidelity were a middle state between 
superstition and truth. This view derives its plausi- 
bility from the circumstance that in drawing out 
systems in writing, to erase a false doctrine is the first 
top towards inserting the true. Accordingly, the 


SECT. iii.J The Church of Alexandria. 


mind is often compared to a tablet or paper : a state 
of it is contemplated of absolute freedom from all 
prepossessions and likings for one system or another. 
3s a first step towards arriving at the truth ; and infi- 
delity represented as that candid and dispassionate 
'^^me of mind, which is the desideratum. For 
'''stance, at the present day, men are to be found of 
'"'gh religious profession, who, fo the surprise and 
£"'^ef of sober minds, exult in the overthrow just now 
■^^ religion in France, as if an unbeliever were in a 
^*~^ <jre hopeful state than a bigot, for advancement in 
^^«! spiritual knowledge. But in truth, the mind 
. ^^ver can resemble a blank paper, in its freedom from 
*~*ripressions and prejudices. Infidelity is a positive, 
'"* -^^t a negative state ; it is a state of profaneness. ' 
^^*ide, and selfishness; and he who believes a little, 
j^-^ ■^jt encompasses that little with the inventions of men. 
^^ undeniably in a better condition than he who blots 
^^-^^ut from his mind both the human inventions, and 
^^Xat portion of truth which was concealed in them. 

Again : it is plain that the tenderness of dealinj,% 

"^Jvhich it is our duty to adopt towards a heathen un- 

■aeliever, is not to be used towards an apostate. No 

■^^conomy can be employed towards those who have 

"fceen once enlightened, and have fallen away. I wish 

to speak explicitly on this subject, because there is a 

great deal of that spurious charity among us which 

would cultivate the friendship of those who, in a 

Christian country, speak against the Church or its 

creeds. Origen and others were not imwilling to be on 

a footing of intercourse with the heathen philosophers 

Ln\ their day, in order, if it were possible, to lead them 
into the truth ; but deliberate heretics and apostates, 

86 The Church of Alexandria, [chap. i. 

those who had known the truth, and rejected it, were 
objects of their abhorrence, and were avoided from 
the truest charity to them. For what can be said to 
those who ah-eady know all we have to say ? And 
how can we show our fear for their souls, nay, and for 
our ovkVi steadfastness, except by a strong action ? 
Thus Origen, when a youth, could not be induced to 
attend the prayers of a heretic of Antioch whom his 
patroness had adopted, from a loathing^, as he says, 
of heresy. And St Austin himself tells us, that while 
he was a Manichee, his own mother would not eat 
at the same table with him in her house, from her 
strong aversion to the blasphemies which were the 
characteristic of his sect 6. And Scripture fully sanc- 
tions this mode of acting, by the severity with which 
such unhappy men are spoken of, on the different 
occasions when mention is made of them 7. 

Further : the foregoing remarks may serve to show 
us, with what view the early Church cultivated and 
employed heathen literature in its missionary labours; 
viz. not with the notion that the cultivation, which 
literature gives, was any substantial improvement of 
our moral nature, but as thereby opening the mind, 
and rendering it susceptible of an appeal ; nor as if 
the heathen literature itself had any direct connexion 
with the matter of Christianity, but because it contained 
in it the scattered fragments of those original traditions 
which might be made the means of introducing a 
student to the Christian system, being the ore in which , 
the true metal was found. The account above given 
of the conversion of Gregory is a proof of this. 

• jSScXvTTO/tcvo^. Eus. Hist. vi. 2 [vii. 7, Eulog. ap. Phot. p. 861] 

* Bingham, Antiq. xvi. 2, $ 11. 

7 Rom. xvi. 17. 2 Thess. iii. 14. 2 John 10, 11, &c 

S8CT, m] Thf Ckurck of Alexandria. 87 

The only danger to which the Alexandrian doctrine 
« exposed, is that of its confusing the Scripture Dis- 
pensations with that of Natural Religion, as if tliey 
*ere of equal authority ; as if the Gospel had not a 
■^'aim of acceptance on the conscience of all who heard 
". nor became a touchstone of their moral condition ; 
^^<d as if the Bible, as the Pagan system, were but 
P'T'tially true, and had not been attested by the dis- 
*■''* ruinating evidence of miracles. This is the heresy 
P' tiic Neologians in this day, as it was of the Eclectics 
"* primitive times ; as will be shown in the next 
^'^^^tion. The foregoing extract from Clement shows 
'^ entire freedom from so grievous an error ; but in 
""^der to satisfy any suspicion which may exist of his 
''^ing language which may have led to a more decided 
^^rruption after his day. I will quote a passage from 
^*Xe sixth book of his Stromateis, in which he main- 
^-ins the supremacy of Revealed Religion, as being in 
*^ct the source and test of all other religions; the 
Extreme imperfection of the latter; the derivation of 
"Whatever is true in these from Revelation ; the secret 
presence of God in them, by that Word of Life which 
is directly and bodily revealed in Christianity; and 
Ihe corruption and yet forced imitation of the trutli by 
the evil spirit in such of them, as he wishes to make 
pass current among mankind. 

"Should it be said that the Greeks discovered philo- 
sophy by human wisdom," he says, "'I reply, that I find 
the Scriptures declare alt wisdom to be a divine gift : 
for instance, the Psalmist considers wisdom to be tiie 
greatest of gifts, and offers this petition, ' I am thy 
servant, make me wise." And does not David ask for 
illumination in its diverse functions, wbea he says 

88 Tlie Chtirch of Alexandria, [chap, i* 

* Teach me goodness, discipline, and knowledge, for I 
have believed Thy precepts'? Here he confesses that 
the Covenants of God are of supreme authority, and 
vouchsafed to the choice portion of mankind. Again, 
there is a Psalm which says of God, * He hath not acted 
thus with any other nation, and His judgments He hath 
not revealed to them ; ' where the words, * He hath not 
done thus,' imply that He hath indeed done somewhat, 
but not t/ms. By using t/ms he contrasts their state 
with our superiority ; else the Prophet might simply 
have said, *He hath not acted with other nations,' 
without adding t/ms. The prophetical figure, *The 
Lord is over many waters,* refers to the same truth ; 
that is, a Lord not only of the different covenants, but 
also of the various methods of teaching, which lead to 
righteousness, whether among the Gentiles or the Jews. 
David also bears his testimony to this truth, when he 
sdiys in the Psalm, * Let the sinners be turned into hell, 
all the nations which forget God ; that is, they forget 
whom they formerly remembered, they put aside 
Him whom they knew before they forgot. It seems 
then there was some dim knowledge of God even 
among the Gentiles. . They who say that philosophy 
originates with the devil, would do well to consider 
what Scripture says about the devil's being trans- 
formed into an Angel of light. For what will he 
do then } it is plain he will prophesy. Now if he 
prophesies as an Angel of light, of course he will speak 
what is true. If he shall prophesy angelic and en- 
lightened doctrine, he will prophesy what is profitable 
also ; that is, at tJie time when he is thus changed in 
his apparent actions, far different as he is at bottom in 
his real apostasy. For how would he deceive except 

SECT, m-l The Church of Alexandria. 

by craftily leading on the inquirer by means of truth, to 
^n intimacy with himself, and so at length seducing 
liim into error? . . Therefore philosophy is not false, 
Chough he who is thief and liar speaks truth by a 
«hangc in his manner of acting. . . The philosophy of 
"the Greeks, limited and particular as it is, contains the 
rudiments of that really perfect knowledge which is 
beyond tliis world, which is engaged in intellectual 
objects, and upon those more spiritual, whicli eye hath 
not seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, 
before they were made clear to us by our Great 
Teacher, who reveals the holy of holies, and still 
holier truths in an ascending scale, to those who are 
aiuine heirs of the Lord's adoptions." 

What I have said about the method of teaching 
adopted by the Alexandrian, and more or less by the 
other primitive Churches, amounts to this ; that they 
on principle refrained from telling unbelievers all they 
believed themselves, and further, that they endeavoured 
to connect their own doctrine with theirs, whether 
Jewish or pagan, adopting their sentiments and even 
their language, as far as they lawfully could. Some 
instances of this have been given ; more will follow, in 
the remarks which I shall now make upon the 
influence of Platonism on their theological language. 
The reasons, which induced the early Fathers to 
rail themselves of the language of Platonism, were 
They did so, partly as an argumentum ad 
minem; as if the Christian were not professing in 
e doctrine of the Trinity a more mysterious tenet, 


■• * ■ . ^ 

w t> ■ 

90 TIu Church of Alexaftdria. [chap, i ' 

than that v/hich had been propounded by a- 
heathen authority; partly to conciliate their pbilo^. 
sophical opponents; partly to save themselves.. ftc 
arduousness of inventing terms, where the Church had 
not yet authoritatively supplied them ; and partly ^th 
the hope, or even belief, that the Platonic school had 
been guided in portions of its system by a more than 
human wisdom, of which Moses was the unknown but 
real source. As far as these reasons depend upon 
the rule of the Economy, they have already been con- 
sidered ; and an instance of their operation given in 
the exoteric conduct of Athanasius himself, whose 
orthodoxy no one questions. But the last reason 
given, their suspicion of the divine origin of the Pla- 
tonic doctrine, requires some explanation. 

It is unquestionable that, from very early times, 
traditions have been afloat through the world, at- 
taching the notion of a Trinity, in some sense or 
other, to. the First Cause. Not to mention the traces 
of this doctrine in the classical and the Indian mytho- 
logies, we detect it in the Magian hypothesis of a 
supreme and two subordinate antagonist deities in 
Plutarch's Trinity of God, matter, and the evil spirit, 
and in certain heresies in the first age of the Church, 
which, to the Divine Being and the Demiurgus, added 
a third original principle, sometimes the evil spirit, and 
sometimes matter 9. Plato has adopted the same gen- 
eral notion ; and with no closer or more definite ap- 
proach to the true doctrine. On the whole, it seems 
reasonable to infer, that the heathen world possessed 
traditions too ancient to be rejected, and too sacred to 

* Cudworth, Intell. Syst. i. 49 § 13, i6. Beausobre, Hist, de Manicb. 
iv. 6, § 8, &c 

m.] The Chui'c/i of Alej:andria. 

oe used in popular theolt^y. If Plato's doctrine 

oc'ars a greater apparent resemblance to the revealed 

'^'Tath than that of others, this is owing merely to his 

'^^en-e in speaking on the subject. His obscurity 

_^ ' l^jws room for an ingenious fancy to impose a mean- 

"^^g upon him. Whether he includes in his Trinity 

.^*-^ notion of a First Cause, its active energy, and the 

*^ ^uence resulting from it ; or again, the divine sub- 

^-■^ance as the source of all spiritual beings from 

f^^^ •^rnity, the divine power and wisdom as exerted in 

' *Tie in the formation of the material world, and 

^"^irdly, the innumerable derivative spirits by whom 

_,*~*e world is immediately governed, is altogether 

^ ^Dubtfui. Nay, even the writers who revived his 

^Tiilosophy in the third and fourth centuries after 

whrist. and embellished the doctrine with additions 

^ %om Scripture, discover a like extraordinary variation 

tw their mode of expounding it. The Maker of the 

'orld, the Demiurge, considered by Plato sometimes 

; the first, sometimes as the second principle, is by 

Julian placed as the second, by Plotinus as the third, 

and by Proclus as the fourth, that is, the last of three 

subordinate powers, all dependent on a First, or the 

One Supreme Deity '. In truth, speculations, vague 

and unpractical as these, made no impression on the 

minds of the heathen philcsopiiers. perhaps as never 

being considered by them as matters of fact, but as 

allegories and metaphysical notions, and accordingly, 

caused in them no solicitude or diligence to maintain 

consistency in their expression of them. 

But very different was the influence of the ancient 
theory of Plato, however originated, when it came in 

92 The Church of Alexandria, [chap. i. 

contact with believers in the inspired records, who at 
once discerned in it that mysterious Doctrine, brought 
out as if into bodily shape and almost practical per- 
suasiveness, which lay hid under the angelic mani- 
festations of the Law and the visions of the Prophets. 
Difficult as it is to determine the precise place in the 
sacred writings, where the Divine Logos or Word was 
first revealed, and how far He is intended in each 
particular passage, the idea of Him is doubtless seated 
very deeply in their teaching. Appearing first as if a 
mere created minister of God's will, He is found to be 
invested with an ever-brightening glory, till at length 
we are bid fall down as before the personal Presence 
and consubstantial Representative of the one God. 
Those then, who were acquainted with the Sacred 
Volume, possessed in it a key, more or less exact 
according to their degree of knowledge, for that 
aboriginal tradition which the heathen ignorantly but 
piously venerated, and were prompt in appropriating 
the language of philosophers, with a changed meaning, 
to the rightful service of that spiritual kingdom, of 
which a divine personal mediation was the great 
characteristic. In the books of Wisdom and Ecclesi- 
asticus, and much more, in the writings of Philo, the 
Logos of Plato, which had denoted the divine energy 
in forming the world, or the Demiurge, and the pre- 
vious all-perfect incommunicable design of it, or the 
Only-begotten, was arrayed in the attributes of per- 
sonality, made the instrument of creation, and the 
revealed Image of the incomprehensible God. Amid 
such bold and impatient anticipations of the future, it 
is not wonderful that the Alexandrian Jews outstepped 
the truth which they hoped to appropriate ; and that 

intruding into things not seen as yet, with the con(i- 
ifence of prophets rather than of disciples of Revela- 
tion, they eventually obscured the doctrine when 
disclosed, which we may well believe they loved in 
prospect and desired to honour. This remark par- 
ticularly applies to Pliilo, who associating it with 
■fatonic notions as well as words, developed its 
Mneaments with so rude and hasty a hand, as to 
*^Parate the idea of the Divine Word from that of the 
■"Eternal God ; and so perhaps to prepare the way for 
■^ Han ism 2. 

Elven after this Alexandrino-Judaic doctrine had 
^^Cn corrected and completed by the inspired Apostles 
^^ Paul and St. John, it did not lose its hold upon 
lr\o Fathers of the Christian Church, who could not 
^t discern in the old Scriptures, even more clearly 
**^ a.n iheir predecessors, tliose rudiments of the perfect 
*'uth which God's former revelations concealed ; and 
^^'Ho in consequence called others, (as it were,) to gaze 
^Pon these both as a prophetical witness in confu- 
tation of unbelief, and in gratitude to Him who had 
"V'rought so marvellously with His Church. But it 
followed from the nature of the case, that, while they 
thus traced with watchful eyes, under the veil of the 
biteral text, the first and gathering tokens of that 
Divine Agent who in fulness of time became their 
Itcdeeraer, they were led to speak of Him in terms 

* This may be illualraled bj the iheological lang'uagc of the Paradiss 
h, as far as the veiy worOs go, is conformable both to Scrip- 
re and the writings of the early Fathers, but beeomes otfeasive as bein^ 
weh up«n as if it vreie literal, not liguiativc. Iiis scripnira) to say that 
' Ac Son went forth from the Father to create the worlds j but when this is 
(naile the basis of b scene or pagtani, it borders on Arianism. Milton 
bas made Allcgoiy, oi the Economy, rcnl. Vide infra, ch. ii. < t. fin. 

94 The Church of Alexandria. [_chap. i. 

short of that full confession of His divine greatness, 
which the Gospel reveals, and which they themselves 
elsewhere unequivocally expressed, especially as living 
in times before the history of heresy had taught them 
the necessity of caution in their phraseology. Thus, 
for instance, from a text in the book of Proverbs 3, 
which they understood to refer to Christ, Origen and 
others speak of Him as " created by the Lord in the 
beginning, before His works of old ; " meaning no 
more than that it was He, the true Light of man, who 
was secretly intended by the Spirit, and mystically 
(though incompletely) described, when Solomon spoke 
of the Divine Wisdom as the instrument of God's 
providence and moral governance. In like manner, 
when Justin speaks of the Son as the minister of God, 
it is with direct reference to those numerous passages 
of the Old Testament, in which a ministering angelic 
presence is more or less characterized by the titles and 
attributes of Divine Perfection^. And, in the use of 
this emblematical diction they were countenanced (not 
to mention the Apocalypse) by the almost sacred 
authority of the platonizing books of Wisdom and 
Ecclesiasticus ; works so highly revered by the Alex- 
andrian Church as to be put into the hands of Cate- 
chumens as a preparation for inspired Scripture, 
contrary to the discipline observed in the neighbouring 
Church of Jerusalem 5. 

The following are additional instances of Platonic 
language in the early Fathers ; though the reader will 
scarcely perceive at first sight what is the fault in 

* Prov. viii. 22, Kvptos Scrwrcv. Septuag. 

* Justin. Apol. i. 63. Tiyph. 56, &c. 

* Bingh. Amiq. x. i. § 7. 

SECT, ni.] The Ckurchvf Alexandria. 95 

them, unless he happens to know the defective or 
perverse sense in which philosophy or heresy used 
them^. For instance, Justin speaks of the Word as 
"fulfilHng the Father's will." Clement calls Him^ 
" the Thought or Reflection of God ;" and in another 
place, " the Second Principle of all things," the Father 
Himself being the First. Elsewhere he speaks of the 
Son as an " all-perfect, all-holy, all-sovereign, all- 
authoritative, supreme, and all -searching nature, reach- 
ing close upon the sole Almighty." In like manner 
Origen speaks of the Son as being "the immediate 
Creator, and as it were, Artificer of the world ; " and 
the Father, " the Origin of it, as having committed to 
His Son its creation." A bolder theology than this of 
Origen and Clement is adopted by five early writers 
connected with very various schools of Christian 
teaching ; none of whom, however, are of especial 
authority in the Church^. They explained the Scrip- 
ture doctrine of the generation of the Word to mean, 
His manifestation at the beginning of the world as 
distinct from God ; a statement, which, by weakening 
the force of a dogmatic formula which implies our 
Lord's Divine Nature, might perhaps lend some acci- 
dental countenance after their day to the Arian denial 
of it. These subjects will come before us in the next 

I have now, perhaps, sufficiently accounted for the 
apparent liberality of the Alexandrian School ; which, 

* Pelav. Thcol, Dogm. lom. ii. i. .', 4. 

• Tlieophilus of AnCioch (a.d. 168); Taiian, pupil of Juslin Martyr 
(•.u. 169); AchcnagiiraaoF Alexandria (*.ii. 177}; Hippolytus, ihcdUcipIs 

96 The Church of Alexandria, [chap, i, 

notwithstanding, was strict and uncompromising, when 
its system is fairly viewed as a whole, and with re- 
ference to its objects, and as distinct from that rival 
and imitative philosophy, to be mentioned in the next 
section, which rose out of it at the beginning of the 
third century, and with which it is by some writers 
improperly confounded. That its principles were * 
always accurately laid, or the conduct of its masters 
nicely adjusted to them, need not be contended ; or 
that they opposed themselves with an exact impar- 
tiality to every form of error which assailed the 
Church ; or that they duly entered into and soundly 
applied the Jewish Scriptures ; or that in conducting 
the Economy they were altogether free from an 
ambitious imitation of the Apostles, nobly conceived 
indeed, but little becoming uninspired teachers. It 
may unreluctantly be confessed, wherever it can be 
proved, that their exoteric professions at times affected 
the purity of their esoteric doctrine, though this re- 
mark scarcely applies to their statements on the sub- 
ject of the Trinity ; and that they indulged a boldness 
of inquiry, such as innocence prompts, rashness and 
irreverence corrupt, and experience of its mischievous 
consequences is alone able to repress. Still all this, 
and much more than this, were it to be found, weighs 
as nothing against the mass of testimonies producible 
from extant documents in favour of the real orthodoxy 
of their creed. Against a multitude of the very 
strongest and most explicit declarations of the divinity 
of Christ, some of which will be cited in their proper 

of Ircnseus and friend of Origen (a.d. 222) : and the Author who goes 
under the name of Novatian (a. d. 250). [This is Bull's view; for that 
maturely adopted by the author, vide his "Theological Tracts.**] 

SECT. III.] The Cluu-ch of Alexandna. 97 

place, but a very few apparent exceptions to the 
strictest language of technical theology can be 
gatliered from their writings, and these are suf- 
ficiently explained by the above considerations. And 
fut-t-iier, such is the high religious temper which their 
^'Orka exhibit, as to be sufficient of itself to convince 
wk<i Christian inquirer, that they would have shrunk 
'''•^in the deliberate blasphemy with which Arius in 
"*^i succeeding century assailed and scoffed at the 
**^^^ ful majesty of his Redeemer. 

^rigcn, in particular, that man of strong heart, who 
"■^>-s paid for the unbridled freedom of his spcculatior i 
***~» other subjects of theologj', by the multitude of 
^■"ievous and unfair charges which burden his name 
*'" » th posterity, protests, by the forcible argument of 
* Xife devoted to God's scr\'ice, against his alleged con- 
^■^^xion with the cold disputatious spirit, and the 
^ *^principled domineering ambition, which are the 
^^ *■ storical badges of the heretical party. Nay, it is a 
^^^^markable fact that it was he wiio discerned the 
^^2resy9 outside the Church on its first rise, and 
^■^tually gave the alarm, sixty years before Arius's day. 

I • " The Word," says Origcn, " being the Image of the InvL'iiblc GoH, 

1 ^^uat Himself be invisible Nay, I will mainlain further, ihat as being 
I ^^e Ima^ He is eternal, asihe God whose Image He is. For wlien was 
1 *lla[ GoJ. whom Si. John calls ihe Light, destitute of tlie Radiance of Wy. 
I *ti(ommunicablc glory, so that a man may dare to aaeribc a bcgirmingof 
I dtjslcncc to ihe Son ? . . . Ij!t a man, who dares to aay that [he Son is not 
H (ram nciniij, coiisiilcr well, Ihat (his is all one with saying, Uivine Wis> 
I dam had a beginninjj, or Benson, or Lif;."' Athan. dc U.-cr, Nic. ( J?- 
H Vide also his «■«))! u(ij(iuv (if RufRnus may lie trusted), for his ricnnuncr- 
H mcnt (if ll* Mill mare charnctfiistic Arianisms of (he ^t' '""* ou" 'V ^nd 
^^ Ibc j£ ovN VvTtav, [On Origen's disailvii illumes, vide Lumper liisE. l. i. 
^^ p. 496, Ac.] 

98 Tlie Church of Alexandria, [chap. i. 

Here let it suffice to set down in his vindication the 
following facts, which may be left to the consideration 
of the reader ; — first, that his habitual hatred of heresy 
and concern for heretics were such, as to lead him, 
even when left an orphan in a stranger's house, to 
withdraw from the praying and teaching of one of 
them, celebrated for his eloquence, who was in favour 
with his patroness and other Christians of Alexandria ; 
that all through his long life he was known through- 
out Christendom as the especial opponent of false 
doctrine, in its various shapes ; and that his pupils, 
Gregory, Athenodorus, and Dionysius, were principal 
actors in the arraignment of Paulus, the historical 
forerunner of Arius ; — next, that his speculations, 
extravagant as they often were, related to points not 
yet determined by the Church, and, consequently, were 
really, what he frequently professed them to be, 
inquiries ; — ^further, that these speculations were for the 
most part ventured in matters of inferior importance, 
certainly not upon the sacred doctrines which Arius 
afterwards impugned, and in regard to which even his 
enemy Jerome allows him to be orthodox ; — ^that the 
opinions which brought him into disrepute in his life- 
time concerned the creation of the world, the nature 
of the human soul, and the like ; — that his opinions, 
or rather speculations, on these subjects, were im- 
prudently made public by his friends ; — that his 
writings were incorrectly transcribed even in his life- 
time, according to his own testimony ; — ^that after his 
death, Arian interpolations appear to have been made 
in some of his works now lost, upon which the sub- 
"■^uent Catholic testimony of his heterodoxy is 
nmded; — that, on the other hand, in his extant 

. m.J The Church of Alexandria. 99 

cs, the doctrine of the Trinity is clearly avowed, 

=ind in particular, our Lord's Divinity energetically 

^nd variously enforced ; — and lastly, that in matter 

«)f fact, the Arian party does not seem to have claimed 

Aim, or appealed to him in self-defence, till thirty 

3'ears after the first rise of the heresy, when the 

originators of it were already dead, although they 

lad showed their inclination to shelter themselves 

behind celebrated names, by the stress they laid on 

their connexion with the martyr Lucian'. But if so 

much can be adduced in exculpation of Origen from 

any grave charge of heterodoxy, what accusation can 

be successfully maintained against his less suspected 

fellow-labourers in the polemical school ? so that, in 

concluding this part of the subject, we may with full 

satisfaction adopt the judgment of Jerome : — " It may 

^be that they erred in simplicity, or that they wrote in 
another sense, or that their writings were gradually 
corrupted by unskilful transcribers ; or certamly, 
before Arius, like ' the sickness that destroycth in the 
noon-day,' was born in Alexandria, they made state- 
ments innocently and incautiously, which are open to 
the misinterpretation of the perverse^." 

' Hum. Ori^cn. lib. i. lib.ii. 4. § i. Bull, Dcfcns. V. K. iL ^. 
Waialanil's Waiks, vol. iii. p. 31Z. Baliua, D^fcn^ des Ss. Piles, ii. 10 
Tillcmont, Mem. vol. iii. p. 159. Soctal. Hisc. iv. t6. Aihanasiua 
Mlices the chaage in Ibc Arlan palcm^cs, Ftoni mere djspuiatjan 10 an 
appeal (o auihorily, in his De Sent. Dionys. \ t, wiilten about jl.d. 3J4. 
oSSli' OUT* euAoyoc ovrt jrpos diroStifti' tit r^s Sd'as ypai^s pi/riV 
i>(ilvinfi Tqs Qipto-tiuS atriv, dtl yXv ■K\ui^ai3ii,% uxaiuxi^o'^i 
btopiJ^aVTo «oc (TOc^iVfiara jriflttui- vCc Sc koI diajSiiXXtii' w 
TciTtpas TeroX^ifKaiTi. , 

' Apolug. adv. KufiiiL ii. Opec. vul, ii. p. :4g. 

II 2 





The words of St. Jerome, with which the last section 
closed, may perhaps suggest the suspicion, that the 
Alexandrians, though orthodox themselves, yet in- 
cautiously prepared the way for Arianism by the 
countenance they gave to the use of the Platonic 
theological language. But, before speculating on the 
medium of connexion between Platonism and Arian- 
ism, it would be well to ascertain the existence of the 
connexion itself, which is very doubtful, whether we 
look for it in history, or in the respective characters 
of the parties professing the two doctrines ; though it 
is certain that Platonism, and Origenism also, became 
the excuse and refuge of the heresy when it was con- 
demned by the Church. I proceed to give an account 
of the rise and genius of Eclecticism, with the view of 
throwing light upon this question ; that is, of showing 
its relation both to the Alexandrian Church and to 


The Eclectic philosophy is so called from its pro- 
fessing to select the better parts of the systems 

SSCT. IV.] The Eclectic Sect. 

'"Vented before it, and to digest these into one con- 
sistent doctrine. It is doubtful where the principle of 
' °''iginated, but it is probably to be ascribed to the 
■'^''^xandrian Jews. Certain it is, that the true faith 
"cyer could come into contact with the heathen 
pft'losophics, without exereising its right to arbitrate 
°^t\veen them, to protest against their vicious or 
^'"'"^neous dogmas, and to extend its countenance to 
wnatevcr bore an exalted or a practical character. 
Cultivated taste would be likely to produce among 
^ heathen the same critical spirit which was created 
^ real religious knowledge ; and accordingly we 
^^3 in the philosophers of the Augustan and the suc- 
^ding age, an approximation to an eclectic or syn- 
^tistic system, similar to that which is found in tlie 
filings of Philo. Some authors have even supposed, 
Mat Potamo, the original projector of the school based 
^»i this principle, flourished in the reign of Augustus ; 
*-*ut tliis notion is untenable, and we must refer him to 
*^Iie age of Severus, at the end of the second century'. 
In the mean time, the Christians had continued to act 
Upon the discriminative view of heathen philosophy 
"which the Philonists had opened ; and, as we have 
already seen, Clement, yet without allusion to partic- 
ular sect or theory, which did not exist till after his 
day, declares himself the patron of the Eclectic prin- 
ciple. Thus we are introduced to the history of the 
School which embodied it. 

Ammonius, the contemporary of Potamo, and 
virtually the founder of the Eclectic sect, was bom of 

pan I. 1, i 4. [ViJc fabric. Bibl. Gnrc. 


I02 The Eclectic Sect. [chap. i. 

Christian parents, and educated as a Christian in Ihtf* 
catechetical institutions of Alexandria, under thf- 
superintendence of Clement or Pantaenus. After a 
time he renounced, at least secretly, his belief in 
Christianity ; and opening a school of morals and 
theology on the stock of principles, esoteric and 
exoteric, which he had learned in the Church, he 
became the founder of a system really his own, but 
which by a dexterous artifice he attributed to Plato. 
The philosophy thus introduced into the world was 
forthwith patronized by the imperial court, both at 
Rome and in the East, and spread itself in the course 
of years throughout the empire, with bitter hostility 
and serious detriment to the interests of true religion ; 
till at length, obtaining in the person of Julian a 
second apostate for its advocate, it became the author- 
ized interpretation and apology for the state poly- 
theism. It is a controverted point whether or not 
Ammonius actually separated from the Church. His 
disciples affirm it; Eusebius, though not without some 
immaterial confusion of statement, denies it 2. On 
the whole, it is probable that he began his teaching 
as a Christian, and but gradually disclosed the 
systematic infidelity on which it was grounded. We 
are told expressly that he bound his disciples to 
secrecy, which was not broken till they in turn became 
lecturers in Rome, and were led one by one to divulge 
the real doctrines of their master^ ; nor can we other- 
wise account for the fact of Origen having attended 
him for a time, since he who refused to hear Paulus of 
Antioch, even when dependent on the patroness of 

* Euseb. Hist. Eccl. vi. 19. ' Brucker, ibid. 

The Eeicclic Scci. 


"■at heretic, would scarcely have extended a voluntary 
'Countenance to a professed deserter from the Chris- 
''an faith and name. 

This conclusion is confirmed by a consideration of 
'^e nature of the error substituted by Ammonius for 
'^'le orthodox belief; which was in substance what in 
"lese times would be called Neologism, a heresy which, 
^^^n more than others, has shown itself desirous and 
*ble to conceal itself under the garb of sound religion, 
^'^^ to keep the form, while it destroys the spirit, of 
^'*t-istianity, So close, indeed, was the outward re- 
®^«Vib!aiice between Eclecticism and the Divine system 
*** whicli it was the deadly enemy, that St. Austin 
''^>>iarks, in more than one passage, that the difference 
^^twcen the two professions lay only in the varied 
^*^ceptation of a few words and propositions'*. This 
Peculiar character of the Eclectic philosophy must be 
*^arcfully noticed, for it exculpates the Catholic 
fathers from being really implicated in prc>cecdings, 
of which at first they did not discern the drift ; while 
explains that apparent connexion which, at the 
Ibtance of centuries, exists between them and the 
teal originator of it. 

The essential mark of Neologism is the denial of 
the exclusive divine mission and peculiar inspiration 
of the Scripture I'rophets ; accompanied the while 
with a profession of general respect for them as bene- 
factors of mankind, as really instruments in God's 
hand, and as in some sense the organs of His revela- 
tions ; nay, in a fuller measure such, than other 
religious and moral teachers. In its most specious 


I. Plai-Eecl. |l: 

I04 The Eclectic Sect. [chAp. i. 

form, it holds whatever is good and true in the various 
religions in the world, to have actually come from 
God : in its most degraded, it accounts them all 
equally to be the result of mere human benevolence 
and skill. In all its shapes, it differs from the ortho- 
dox belief, primarily, in denying the miracles of 
Scripture to have taken place, in the peculiar way 
therein represented, as distinctive marks of God's 
presence accrediting the teaching of those who 
wrought them ; next, as a consequence, in denying 
this teaching, as preserved in Scripture, to be in such 
sense the sole record of religious truth, that all who 
hear it are bound to profess themselves disciples of 
it. Its , apparent connexion with Christianity lies 
(as St. Austin remarks) in the ambiguous use of 
certain terms, such as divine^ revelation^ inspiration^ 
and the like ; which may with equal ease be made 
to refer either to ordinary and merely providential, 
or to miraculous appointments in the counsels of 
Almighty Wisdom. And these words would be even 
more ambiguous than at the present day, in an age, 
when Christians were ready to grant, that the heathen 
w^ere in some sense under a supernatural Dispensation, 
as was explained in the foregoing section. 

The rationalism of the Eclectics, though equally 
opposed with the modern to the doctrine of the 
peculiar divinity of the Scripture revelations, was 
circumstantially different from it. The Neologists of 
the present day deny that the miracles took place in 
the manner related in the sacred record ; the Eclectics 
denied their cogency as an evidence of the extraor- 
dinary presence of God. Instead of viewing them as 
events of very rare occurrence, and permitted for 

SECT. IV.] The Eclectic Sect. 1 05 

important objects in the course of Gods providence, 
they considered them to be common to every age and 
country, beyond the knowledge rather than the 
power of ordinary men, attainable by submitting to 
the discipline of certain mysterious rules, and the 
immediate work of beings far inferior to the Supreme 
Governor of the world. It followed that, a display of 
miraculous agency having no connexion with the 
truth of the religious system which it accompanied, at 
feast not more than any gift merely human was con- 
nected with it, such as learning or talent, the inquirer 
^as at once thrown upon the examination of the 
doctrines for the evidence of the divinity of Chris- 
tianity ; and there being no place left for a claim on 
^'s allegiance to it as a whole, and for what is strictly 
termed faith, he admitted or rejected as he chose, 
cori^ipared and combined it with whatever was valuable 
els^^here, and was at liberty to propose to himself 
tha.t: philosopher for a presiding authority, whom the 
Christians did but condescend to praise for his approx- 
tocLtion towards some of the truths which Revelation 
b^d unfolded. The chapel of Alexander Severus was 
a fit emblem of that system, which placed on a level 
Abraham, Orpheus, Pythagoras, and the Sacred Name 
by which Christians are called. The zeal, the bro- 
therly love, the beneficence, and the wise discipline of 
the Church, are applauded, and held up for imitation 
m the letters of the Emperor Julian ; who at another 
\\vci^ calls the Almighty Guardian of the Israelites a 
"great God 5," while in common with his sect he pro- 
fessed to restore the Christian doctrine of the Trinity 

• Gibbon, Hist. ch. xxiii. 

io6 ^he Eclectic Sect. (chap, i, 

to its ancient and pure Platonic basis. It followed as 
a natural consequence, that the claims of religion 
being no longer combined, defined, and embodied in a 
personal Mediator between God and man, its various 
precepts were dissipated back again and confused in 
the mass of human knowledge, as before Christ came ; 
and in its stead a mere intellectual literature arose in 
the Eclectic School, and usurped the theological chair 
as an interpreter of sacred duties, and the instructor of 
the inquiring mind. "In the religion which he (Julian) 
had adopted," says Gibbon, " piety and learning were 
almost synonymous ; and a crowd of poets, of rhetori- 
cians, and of philosophers, hastened to the Imperial 
Court, to occupy the vacant places of the bishops, who 
had seduced the credulity of Constantius^.V Who 
does not recognize in this old philosophy the chief 
features of that recent school of liberalism and false 
illumination, political and moral, w^hich is now Satan's 
instrument in deluding the nations, but which is worse 
and more earthly than it, inasmuch as his former 
artifice, affecting a religious ceremonial, could not but 
leave so much of substantial truth mixed in the 
system as to impress its disciples with somewhat of a 
lofty and serious character, utterly foreign to the cold, 
scoffing spirit of modern rationalism ? 

The freedom of the Alexandrian Christians from 
the Eclectic error was shown above, when I was ex- 
plaining the principles of their teaching ; a passage of 
Clement being cited, which clearly distinguished 
between the ordinary and the miraculous appoint- 
ments of Providence. An examination of the dates 

• Ibid. 



le history will show that they could not do more 
.n bear this indirect testimony against it by anticipa- 
tion. Clement himself was prior to the rise of Eclec- 
ticism ; Origen, prior to its public establishment as a 
sect. Ammonius opened his school at the end of the 
second century, and continued to preside in it at least 
till.VD. 243^ ; during which period, and probably for 
some years after his death, the real character of his 
doctrines was carefully hidden from the world. He 
committed nothing to writing, whether of his exoteric 
or esoteric philosophy, and when Origen, who was 
Karcely his junior, attended him in his first years, 
prab-ibly had not yet decidedly settled the form of 
his system. Plotinus, the firat promulgator and chief 
luminary of Eclecticism, began his public lectures 
^D. 244 ; and for some time held himself bound by 
ihe promise of secrecy made to his master. Moreover, 
lie selected Rome as the seat of his labours, and there 
B even proof that Origen and he never met In 
Alexandria, on tlie contrary, the infant philosophy 
languished ; no teacher of note succeeded to Ammo- 
nius ; and even had it been othenvise, Origen had 
left the city for ever, ten years previous to that 
philosopher's death. It is clear, then, that he had no 
means of detecting the secret infidelit>- of the Eclectics ; 
and the proof of this is still stronger, if, as Brucker 
calculates^, Plotinus did not divulge his master's 
secret till A.D. 255, since Origen died A.D. 253. Yet, 
1 in this ignorance of the purpose of the Eclectics, 
1 Origen, in his letter to Gregory expressing 

' Pabiic. Bibliolh. Grae, Hailcs. iv. ig. 
* Biucker, ibid. 

io8 The Eclectic Sect. [chap. i. 

dissatisfaction at the actual effects which had resulted 
to the Church from that literature in which he himself 
was so eminently accomplished. " For my part," he 
says to Gregory, " taught by experience, I will own to 
you, that rare is the man, who, having accepted the 
precious things of Egypt, leaves the country, and uses 
them in decorating the worship of God. Most men 
who descend thither are brothers of Had ad (Jeroboam), 
inventing heretical theories with heathen dexterity, 
and establishing (so to say) calves of gold in Bethel, 
the house of God 9." So much concerning Origen's 
ignorance of the Eclectic philosophy. As to his 
pupils, Gregory and Dionysius, the latter, who was 
Bishop of Alexandria, died A.D. 264 ; Gregory, on the 
other hand, pronounced his panegyrical oration upon 
Origen, in which his own attachment to heathen liter- 
ature is avowed, as early as A.D. 239 ; and besides, he 
had no connexion whatever with Alexandria, having 
met with Origen at Caesarea'. Moreover, just at this 
time there were heresies actually spreading in the 
Church of an opposite theological character, such as 
Paulianism ; which withdrew their attention from the 
prospect or actual rise of a Platonic pseudo-theology ; 
as will hereafter be shown. 

Such, then, were the origin and principles of the 
Eclectic sect. It was an excrescence of the school of 
Alexandria, but not attributable to it, except as other 
heresies may be ascribed to other Churches, which give 
them birth indeed, but cast them out and condemn them 
when they become manifest. It went out from the 

• Orig. Ep, ad Gregor. § 1. 

* Tillemont, vol. iv. Chronolog. 

f «CT. TV.] ■ Tk£ Eclectic Sect. tog 

Christians, but it was not of them : — whether it re- 
sembled the Arians, on the other hand, and what use 
its tenets were to them, are the next points to con- 

Tile Arian school has already been attributed to 
Antioch as its birth-place, and its character determined 
to be what we may call Aristotehco- Judaic. Now, at 
^'cry first sight, there are striking points of difference 
between it and the Eclectics. On its Aristotehc side, 
its disputatious temper was altogether uncongenial to 
llie new Platonists. These philosophers were com- 
monly distinguished by their melancholy terapera- 
ment, which disposed them to mysticism, and often 
urged them to eccentricities bordering on insanity^. 
Far from cultivating the talents requisite for success 
in life, they placed tiie sublimer virtues in an abstrac- 
tion from sense, and an indifference to ordinary duties. 
Tlipy believed that an intercourse with the intelli- 
gences of the spiritual world could only be effected by 
divesting themselves of their humanity ; and that the 
acquisition of miraculous gifts would compensate for 
their neglect of rules necessary for the well-being of 
common mortals. In pursuit of this hidden talent, 
Plotinus meditated a journey into India, after the 
pattern of Apollonius; while bodily privations and 
magical rites were methods prescribed in their philo- 
sophy for rising in the scale of being. As might be 
expected from the professors of such a creed, the 
fidence of argumentation was disdained, as beneath the 
d of those who were walking by an internal vision 

ttszxfi of those who w 

no The Eclectic Sect. [chap. i. 

of the truth, not by the calculations of a tedious and 
progressive reason ; and was only employed in conde- 
scending regard for such as were unable to rise to their 
own level. When lamblichus was foiled in argument 
by a dialectician, he observed that the syllogisms of 
his sect were not weapons which could be set before 
the many, being the energy of those inward virtues 
which are the peculiar ornament of the philosopher. 
Notions such as these, which have their measure of 
truth, if we substitute for the unreal and almost 
passive illumination of the mystics, that instinctive 
moral perception which the practice of virtue ensures, 
found no sympathy in the shrewd secular policy and 
the intriguing spirit of the Arians ; nor again, in their 
sharp-witted unimaginative cleverness, their precise 
and technical disputations, their verbal distinctions, 
and their eager appeals to the judgment of the popu- 
lace, which is ever destitute of refinement and delicacy, 
and has just enough acuteness of apprehension to be 
susceptible of sophistical reasonings. 

On the other hand, viewing the school of Antioch 
on its judaical side, we are met by a different but not 
less remarkable contrast to the Eclectics. These phi- 
losophers had followed the Alexandrians in adopting 
the allegorical rule ; both from its evident suitableness 
to their mystical turn of mind, and as a means of 
obliterating the scandals and reconciling the inconsis- 
tencies of the heathen mythology. Judaism, on the 
contrary, being carnal in its views, was essentially 
literal in its interpretations ; and, in consequence, 
as hostile from its grossness, as the Sophists from 
their dryness, to the fanciful fastidiousness of the 
Eclectics. It had rejected the Messiah, because He 


The Eclectic Sect. 

did not fulfil its hopes of a temporal conqueror and 
king, It had clung to its obsolete ritual, as not dis- 
t^eming in it the anticipation of better promises and 
Commands, then fulfilled in the Gospel. In the Chris- 
tian Church, it was perpetuating the obstinacy of its 
*-*»ibclief in a disparagement of Christ's spiritual 
^-xjthority, a reliance on the externals of religious 
"^■^^orship, and an indulgence in worldly and sensual 
X^leasures. Moreover, it had adopted in its most 
^^^dious form the doctrine of the Chiliasts or Millen- 
^*jians, respecting the reign of the saints upon earth, a 
^3octrine which Origen, and afterwards his pupit 
_i)ionysius, opposed on the basis of an allegorical 
interpretation of Scripture^. And in this controversy, 
Judaism was still in connexion, more or less, with the 
^ool of Antioch; which is celebrated in those times, 
1 contrast to the Alexandrian, for its adherence to 
£ theory of the literal sense*. 

It may be added, as drawing an additional distinc- 
tion between the Arians and the Eclectics, that while 
the latter maintained the doctrine of Emanations, and 
of the eternity of matter, the hypothesis of the former 
required or implied the rejection of both tenets ; so 
that the philosophy did not even furnish the argumen- 
tative foundation of the heresy, to which its theology 
outwardly bore a partial resemblance. 

But in seasons of difficulty men look about on all 
for support ; and Eclecticism, which had no 

Uosh. deBebus anu Const. Siec. jii. c. 3S. 
Cooybearr, Bampi. Lecl. iy. Oiig. 0|ip. cri. Bencdn 

1 1 2 The Eclectic Sect. [chap. 

attractions for the Sophists of Antioch while th^^^ 
speculations were unknown to the. world at larg^^ 
became a seasonable refuge (as we learn from various — 
authors 5), in the hands of ingenious disputants, whe 
pressed by the numbers and authority of the defenderrs 
of orthodoxy. First, there was an agreement between 
the Schools of Ammonius and of Paulus, in the car- 
dinal point of an inveterate opposition to the Catholic 
doctrine of our Lord's Divinity. The judaizers 
admitted at most only His miraculous conception. 
The Eclectics, honouring Him as a teacher of wisdom, 
still, far from considering Him more than man, were 
active in preparing from the heathen sages rival 
specimens of holiness and power. Next, the two 
parties agreed in rejecting from their theology all 
mystery, in the ecclesiastical notion of the word. The 
Trinitarian hypothesis of the Eclectics was not per- 
plexed by any portion of that difficulty of statement 
which, in the true doctrine, results from the very 
incomprehensibility of its subject. They declared 
their belief in a sublime tenet, which Plato had first 
propounded and the Christians corrupted ; but their 
Three Divine Principles were in no sense one, and, 
while essentially distinct from each other, there was a 
successive subordination of nature in the second and 
the third 6. In such speculations the judaizing Sophist 
found the very desideratum which he in vain de- 
manded of the Church ; a scripturally-worded creed, 
without its accompanying difficulty of conception. 

* Vide Biucker, Hist. Phil. per. ii. part ii. i. 2. § 8. Palius, Dv'fjnac 
des Pfercs, ii. 19. 

• ap;(tKat v7rocrTa<r€t9. Cudworth, Intel!. Syst. i. 4 § 36. 

SiKT. tV. 

The Eclectic Sect. 

-Accordingly, to the doctrine thus put into his hands 
he might appeal by way of contrast, as fulfilling his 
Just demands ; nay, in proportion as he out-argued 
'"id unsettled the faith of his Catholic opponent, so 
did he open a way, as a matter of necessity and with- 
out formal effort, for the perverted creed of that 
philosophy which had so mischievously anticipated 
'"e labours and usurped the office of an ecclesiastical 
^V nod, 

-(\nd, further, it must be observed, that, when the 
.^*^phist had mastered the Eclectic theology, he had 
""^ fact a most powerful weapon to mislead or to 
*>ibarra5s his Catholic antagonist. The doctrine 
^^liich Ammonius professed to discover in the Church, 
^»id to reclaim from the Christians, was employed by 
^lie Arian as if the testimony of the early Fathers to 
tfce truth of the heretical view which he was main- 
taining. What was but incaution, or rather unavoid- 
sxblc liberty, in the Ante-Nicene theology, was insisted 
on as apostolic truth. Clement and Origcn, already 
subjected to a perverse interpretation, were witnesses 
provided by the Eclectics by anticipation against 
orthodoxy. This express appeal to the Alexandrian 
writers, seems, in matter of fact, to have been reserved 
for a late period of the controversy ; but from the 
first an advantage would accrue to the Arians, by 
their agreement (as far as it went) with received 
language in the early Church. Perplexity and doubt 
were thus necessarily introduced into the minds of 
ihosc who only heard the rumour of the discussion, 
and even of many who witnessed it, and who, but for 
this apparent primitive sanction, would liave shrunk 
Crom the bold, irreverent inquiries and the idle Bubtlc< 

1 1 4 The Eclectic Sect. [chap. i. 

ties which are the tokens of the genuine Arian temper. 
Nor was the allegorical principle of Eclecticism in- 
compatible with the instruments of the Sophist This 
also in the hands of a dexterous disputant, particu- 
larly in attack, would become more serviceable to the 
heretical than to the orthodox cause. For, inasmuch 
as the Arian controversialist professed to be asking 
for reasons why he should believe our Lord's divinity, 
an answer based on allegorisms did not silence him, 
while at the same time, it suggested to him the means 
of thereby evading those more argumentative proofs of 
the Catholic doctrine, which are built upon the 
explicit and literal testimonies of Scripture. It was 
notoriously the artifice of Arius, which has been since 
more boldly adopted by modern heretics, to explain 
away its clearest declarations by a forced figurative 
exposition. Here that peculiar subtlety in the use of 
language, in which his school excelled, supported and 
extended the application of the allegorical rule, 
recommended, as it was, to the unguarded believer, 
and forced upon the more wary, by its previous recep- 
tion on the part of the most illustrious ornaments and 
truest champions of the Apostolic faith. 

But after all there is no sufficient evidence in history 
that the Arians did make this use of Neo-Platonism7, 

7 There seems to have been a much earlier coalition between the Platonic 
and Ebionitish doctrines, if the works attributed to the Roman Clement may 
be taken in evidence of it. Mosheim (de Turb. Eccl. § 34) says both the 
Recognitions and Clementines are infected with the latter, and the Clemen- 
tines with }he former doctrine. These works were written between 
A.D. 180 and A.D. t$o ! are they to be referred to the school of Theodotus 
and Artemon, which was humanitarian and Roman, expressly claimed 
the Bishops of Rome as countenancing its errors, and falsified the Scrip- 
tures at least? Plotinus came to Rome a.d. 244, and Philostratus com* 

considered as a party. I believe they did not, and 
"Oni the facts of the history should conclude Eusebius 
*''"Ca:sarea alone to be favourable to that philosophy: 
^Ut some persons may attach importance to the cir- 
^•^wstance, that Syria was one of its chief seats from 
Its very first appearance. The virtuous and amiable 
■'Viexaiider Severus openly professed its creed in his 
lyrian court, and in consequence of this profession, 
[tended his favour to the Jewish nation. Zenobia, a 
'ess in religion, succeeded Alexander in her taste 
■■for heathen literature, and attachment to the syncre- 
(istic philosophy, Her instructor in the Greek lan- 
guage, the celebrated Longinus, had been the pupil of 
Ammonius, and was the early master of Porphyry, the 
most bitter opponent of Christianity that issued from 
the Eclectic school. Afterwards, Amelius, the friend 
and successor of Plotinus, transferred the seat of the 
philosophy from Rome to Laodicea in Syria ; which 
became remarkable for the number and fame of its 
Eclectics^. In the next centurj', lamblicus and 
Libanius, the friend of Julian, both belonged to the 
Syrian branch of the sect. It is remarkable that, in 
I time, its Alexandrian branch declined in 
lutation on the death of Ammonius ; probably, in 
isequence of the hostility it met with from the 
lurch which had the misfortune to give it birth. 

bit life ofApollDiiiu 

ihere as ca 

for the Platonism of 

the laltcr of 

from Ihe earlier. 

shcim. Diss, ip Tuib. 

Ecel. S 1 1. 





One subject more must be discussed in illustration of 
the conduct of the Alexandrian school, and the cir- 
cumstances under which the Arian heresy rose and 
extended itself. The Sabellianism which preceded it 
has often been considered the occasion of it ; — ^viz. by 
a natural reaction from one error into its opposite ; to 
separate the Father from the Son with the Arians, 
being the contrary heresy to that of confusing them 
together after the manner of the Sabellians. Here, 
however, Sabellianism shall be considered neither as 
the proximate nor the remote cause, or even occasion, 
of Arianism ; but first, as drawing off the attention of 
the Church from the prospective evil of the philo- 
sophical spirit; next, as suggesting such reasonings, 
and naturalizing such expressions and positions in the 
doctrinal statements of the orthodox, as seemed to 
countenance the opposite error; lastly, as providing a 
sort of justification of the Arians, when they first 
showed themselves ; — that is, Sabellianism is here 
regarded as facilitating rather than originating the 
disturbances occasioned by the Arian heresy. 


The history of the heresy afterwards called Sabcllian 

SECT, V ] Sabdlianism. 

isoliscure. Its peculiar tenet is the denial of the dis- 
tinction of Persons in the Divine Nature ; or the 
(doctrine of the Monarchia, as it is called by an assump- 
tion of exclusive orthodoxy, like that which has led to 
fie term " Unitarianism " at the present day'. It 
^'33 first maintained as a characteristic of party by a 
school established (as it appears) in Proconsular Asia, 
t'^wards the end of the second century. This school, 
''f which Noetus was the most noted master, is sup- 
posed to be an offshoot of the Gnostics ; and doubt- 
'*ss it is historically connected with branches of that 
numerous family. Irena;us is said to have written 
against it ; which either proves its antiquity, or seems 
to imply its originatioa in those previous Gnostic 
systems, against Which his extant work is entirely 
directed*. It may be added, that Simon Magus, 
the founder of the Gnostics, certainly held a doctrine 
resembling that advocated by the Sabellians. 

At the end of the second century, Praxeas, a pres- 
byter of Ephesus, passed from the early school already 
mentioned to Rome. Meeting there with that deter- 
mined resistance which honourably distinguishes the 
primitive Roman Church in its dealings with heresy, 
he retired into Africa, and there, as founding no sect, 
he was soon forgotten. However, the doubts and 
speculations which he had published, concerning the 
great doctrine in dispute, remained alive in that part 
of the world, though latent^, till they burst into a 

• Burton, Bampt.Lecl. note IC.1. [The word Mowtpx"" was adopted in 
I'Pposilion to the three o^iQxox vffooTiurtw of the Eclectics i vide lupra 
p. tuj 

» Dodwell In Ircn. Diss. vi. i6. 

* Tcftull, in Pran. [It is not CI^rt3in Praxeas was delected at Rume.] 

1 1 8 Sabellianism. [chap, l. 

flame about the middle of the third century, at the 
eventful era when the rudiments of Arianism were 
laid by the sophistical school at Antioch. 

The author of this new disturbance was Sabellius, 
from whom the heresy has since taken its name. He 
was a bishop or presbyter in Pentapolis, a district of 
Cyrenaica, included within the territory afterwards 
called, and then virtually forming, the Alexandrian 
Patriarchate. Other bishops in his neighbourhood 
adopting his sentiments, his doctrine became so 
popular among a clergy already prepared for it, or 
hitherto unpractised in the necessity of a close 
adherence to the authorized formularies of faith, that 
in a short time (to use the words of Athanasius) ** the 
Son of God was scarcely preached in the Churches." 
Dionysius of Alexandria, as primate, gave his judg- 
ment in writing; but being misunderstood by some 
orthodox but over-zealous brethren, he in turn was 
accused by them, before the Roman See, of advocating 
the opposite error, afterwards the Arian ; and in con- 
sequence, instead of checking the heresy, found himself 
involved in a controversy in defence of his own 
opinions^. Nothing more is known concerning the 
Sabellians for above a hundred years ; when it is 
inferred from the fact that the Council of Constanti- 
nople (A.D. 381) rejected their baptism, that they 
formed at that time a communion distinct from the 
Catholic Church. 

Another school of heresy also denominated Sabel- 
lian, is obscurely discernible even earlier than the 
Ephesian, among the Montanists of Phrygia. The 
well-known doctrine of these fanatics, when adopted 

^ Vide Athaiu de Sent. Dionyj. 

SECT, v.] 





by minds less heated than its original propagators, 
evidently tended to a denial of the Personality of the 
Holy Spirit, Montanus himself probably was never 
capable of soberly reflecting on the meaning of his 
own words ; but even in his lifetime, ^schines, one of 
his disciples, saw their real drift, and openly main- 
tained the unreserved monarcliia of the Divine 
Natures. Hence it is usual for ancient writers to 
class the Sabellians and Montanists together, as if 
coinciding in their doctrira' views'^. The success of 
.iEschines in extending h;s heresy in Asia Minor was 
considerable, if we may judge from the condition of 
that country at a later period. — Gregory, the pupil of 
Origcn, appears to have made a successful stand against 
in Pontus. Certainly his writings were employed 
]n the controversy after his death, and that with such 

"cct, as completely to banish it from that country, 
an attempt was made to revive it in the time 
of Basil (A-D, 375 ^). — In the patriarchate of Antioch 
we first hear of it at the beginning of the third cen- 
tury, Origen reclaiming from it Berylius, Bishop of 
Bostra, in Arabia. In the next generation the martyr 
Lucian is said to have been a vigorous opponent of it; 

id he was at length betrayed to his heathen perse- 
cutors by a Sabellian presbyter of the Church of 
Antioch. At a considerably later date (a.d. 375) we 
hear of it in Mesopotamia*. 

At first sight it may seem an assumption to refer 
various exhibitions of heterodoxy in Asia Minor, 

I20 Sabellianism. (chap. i. 

and the East, to some one school or system, merely 
on the ground of their distinguishing tenet being sub- 
stantially the same. And certainly, in treating an 
obscure subject, on which the opinions of learned men 
differ, it must be owned that conjecture is the utmost 
that I am able to offer. The following statement will 
at once supply the grounds on which the above 
arrangement has been made, and explain the real 
nature of the doctrine itself in which the heresy con- 
sisted 9. 

Let it be considered then, whetlier there were not 
two kinds of Sabellianism; the one taught by Praxeas, 
the other somewhat resembling, though less material 
than, the theology of the Gnostics : — ^the latter being 
a modification of the former, arising from the pressure 
of the controversy : for instance, parallel to the change 
which is said to have taken place in the doctrine of 
the Ebionites, and in that of the followers of Paulus of 
Samosata. Those who denied the distinction of 
Persons in the Divine Nature were met by the 
obvious inquiry, in what sense they believed God 
to be united to the human nature of Christ The 
more orthodox, but the more assailable answer to 
this question, was to confess that God was, in such 
sense, one Person with Christ, as (on their Monarchis- 
tic principle) to be in no sense distinct from Him. This 
was the more orthodox answer, as preserving inviolate 
what is theologically called the doctrine of the hypos- 
tatic union, — ^the only safeguard against a gradual 
declension into the Ebionite, or modem Socinian 
heresy. But at the same time such an answer was 
repugnant to the plainest suggestions of scripturally- 

» [Vid. AthaD. Transl. vol. il. p. 377. 

SECT. T.] 



enlightened reason, wbicli leads us to be sure that, 
according to the obvious meaning of the inspired text, 
there is some real sense in which the Father is not the 
Son ; that the Sender and the Sent cannot be in all re- 
spects the same; nor can the Son be said to make Him- 
self inferior to the Father, and condescend to become 
man,— to come from God, and then again to return to 
Him, — if, after all, tliere is no distinction beyond that 
of words, between those Blessed and Adorable Agents 
in the scheme of our redemption. Besides, without 
venturing to intrude into things not as yet seen, it 
appeared evident to the primitive Church, that, in 
matter of fact, the Son of God, though equal in 
dignity of nature to the Father, and One with Him in 
essence, was described in Scripture as undertaking 
such offices of ministration and subjection, as are 
never ascribed, and therefore may not without blas- 
phemy be ascribed, to the self-existent Father. Ac- 
cordingly, the name of Patripassian was affixed to 
Praxeas, Noctus, and their followers, in memorial of 
the unscriptura! tenet which was immediately involved 
in their denial of tlie distinction of Persons in the 

Such doubtless was the doctrine of Sabellius, if 
r*^ard be paid to the express declarations of the 
Fathers. The discriminating Athanasius plainly af- 
firms it, in his defence of Dionysius'. The Semi-Arian 
Creed called the Macrostich, published at Antioch, 
like testimony^; distinguishing, 

De SenU Dionja. jj. 9, *c. [Oiai 
p. 695 1 " Duds dcRnimus, ne (ul \ 
passus." Tcrtull. adv 
it Synud. { 16, 

i. 36. Origen. in Ep. ad. Tit. 

,ra pervtrsius infen) Paicripse 
-ax. .3.] 

122 Sabellianism. [chap. i. 

between the Sabellian doctrine, and the doctrines of 
the Paulianists and Photinians, to which some mo- 
dem critics have compared it. Cyprian and Austin, 
living in Africa, bear express witness to the ex- 
istence of the Patripassian sect 3 On the other 
hand, it cannot be denied, that authorities exist 
favourable to a view of the doctrine different from the 
above, and these accordingly may lead us, in agree- 
ment with certain theological writers^, without inter- 
fering with the account of the heresy already given, to 
describe a modification of it which commonly suc- 
ceeded to its primitive form. 

The following apparently inconsistent testimonies, 
suggest both the history and the doctrine of this 
second form of Sabellianism. While the Montanists 
and Sabellians are classed together by some authors, 
there is separate evidence of the connexion of each of 
these with the Gnostics. Again, Ambrosius, the 
convert and friend of Origen was originally a Valen- 
tinian, or Marcionite, or Sabellian, according to 
different writers. Further, the doctrine of Sabellius 
is compared to that of Valentinus by Alexander of 
Alexandria, and (apparently) by a Roman Council 
(A.D. 324) ; and by St. Austin it is referred indiffer- 
ently to Praxeas, or to Hermogenes, a Gnostic. On 
the other hand, one Leucius is described as a Gnostic 
and MontanistS. It would appear then, that it is so 
repugnant to the plain word of Scripture, and to the 

' Cyprian. Epist. Ixxiii. Tillemont, Mem. iv. loo. 

^ Beausobre, Hisu de Manich. iii. 6. § 7. Mosheim, de Reb. ant. 
Const, saec. ii. § 68 ; saec. iii. § 32. Lardner, Cred. part ii. ch« 41. 

' Vide Tillemont, vol. ii. p. 204 ; iv. p. 100, &c Waterland's 
Works, vol. i. p. 236, 237* 

Sect, v.] Sabeltianism. 

most elementary notions of doctrine thence derived, 
to suppose that Almighty God is in every sense one 
with the human nature of Christ, that a disputant, 
especially an innovator, cannot long maintain such a 
position. It removes the mystery of the Trinity, 
only by leaving the doctrine of the Incarnation in a 
fomi still more strange, than that which it unavoidably 
presents to the imagination. Pressed, accordingly, by 
the authority of Scripture, the Sabellian, instead of 
speaking of the substantial union of God with Christ, 
would probably begin to obscure his meaning in the 
decorum of a figurative language. He would speak 
of the presence rather than the existence of God in 
His chosen servant ; and this presence, if allowed to 
declaim, he would represent as a certain power or 
emanation from the Centre of light and truth ; if forced 
by his opponent into a definite statement, he would 
own to be but an inspiration, the same in kind, though 
superior in degree, with that which enlightened and 
guided the prophets. This is that second form of the 
Sabellian tenet, which some learned modems have 
illustrated, though they must be considered to err in 
pronouncing it the only true one. That it should 
have resulted from the difficulties of the Patripassian 
creed, is natural and almost necessary ; and viewed 
merely as a conjecture, tlie above account of its rise 
reconciles the discordant testimonies of ecclesiastical 
lustor>'. But we have almost certain evidence of the 
matter of fact in TertuUian's tract against Praxeas^, 
in which the latter is apparently represented as holding 
successively, the two views of doctrine which have 
been here described. Parallel instances meet us in 

^K been here 

,. }. 17. 

124 Sabellianisfn. [chap, i, 

the history of the Gnostics and Montanists. Simon 
Magus, for instance, seems to have adopted the Patri- 
passian theory. But the Gnostic family which 
branched from him, modified it by means of their 
doctrine of emanations or aeons, till in the theology 
of Valentinus, as in that of Cerinthus and Ebion, the 
incarnation of the Word, became scarcely more than 
the display of Divine Power with a figurative person- 
ality in the life and actions of a mere man. The 
Montanists, in like manner, from a virtual assumption 
of the Divinity of their founder, were led on, as the 
only way of extricating themselves from one blas- 
phemy, into that other of denying the Personality of 
the Holy Spirit, and then of the Word. Whether the 
school of Noetus maintained its first position, we have 
no means of knowing ; but the change to the second, 
or semi-humanitarian, may be detected in the Sabel- 
lians, as in Praxeas before them. In the time of 
Dionysius of Alexandria, the majority was Patri- 
passian ; but in the time of Alexander they advocated 
the Emanative, as it may be called, or in-dwelling 
theory 7. 

What there is further to be said on this subject 
shall be reserved for the next chapter. Here, how- 
ever, it is necessary to examine, how, under these 
circumstances, the controversy with the Sabellians 
would affect the language of ecclesiastical theology. 
It will be readily seen, that the line of argument by 
which the two errors above specified are to be met, is 
nearly the same : viz. that of insisting upon the 

» Theod. Hist. i. 4. 

SECT, v.] Sa&ellianism. 125 

personality of the Word as distinct from the Father. 
For tlie Patripassian denied that the Word was in any 
real respect distinct from Him; the Emanatist, if he 
may so be called, denied that He was a Person, or 
. more than an extraordinary manifestation of Divine 
l'$ower. The Catholics, on the other hand, asserted 
His distinct personality; and necessarily appealed, in 
proof of this, to such texts as speak of His pre-existent 
relations towards the Father ; in other words, His 
ministrative office in the revealed Economy of the 
Godhead. And thus, being obliged from the course 
■ Jrf" the controversy, to dwell on this truly scriptural 
ienet, and happening to do so without a protest 
against a denial, as if involved in it, of His equality 
with the Father in the One Indivisible Divine Nature 
(a protest, which nothing but the actual experience of 
that denial among them could render necessary or 
natural), they were sometimes forced by the circum- 
stances of the case into an apparent anticipation of 
the heresy, which afterwards arose in the shape of 

This may be illustrated in the history of the two 
great pupils of Origen, who, being respectively 
opposed to the two varieties of Sabeliianism above 
described, the Patripassian and the Emanative, 
incurred odium in a later age, as if they had been 
forerunners of Arius : Gregoiy of NeocKsarea, and 
Dionysius of Alexandria. 

The controversy in which Dionysius was engaged 

I with the Patripassians of Pcntapolis has already been 

• adverted to. Their tenet of the incarnation of the 

Father {that is, of the one God without distinction of 

Persons), a tenet most repugnant toevei^-scripturally- 

126 Sabellianism, [chap. L 

informed mind, was refuted at once, by insisting on the 
essential character of the Son as representing and re- 
vealing the Father ; by arguing, that on the very face 
of Scripture, the Christ who is there set before us, 
(whatever might be the mystery of His nature,) is cer- 
tainly delineated as one absolute and real Person, 
complete in Himself, sent by the Father, doing His 
will, and mediating between Him and man; and that, 
this being the case. His Person could not be the same 
with that of the Father, who sent Him, by any process 
of reasoning, which would not also prove any two indi- 
vidual men to have one literal personality ; that is, if 
there be any analogy at all between the ordinary sense 
of the word " person " and that in which the idea is 
applied in Scripture to the Father and the Son : for 
instance, by what artifice of interpretation can the 
beginning of St. John's Gospel, or the second chapter 
of St Paul's Epistle to the Philippians be made to 
harmonize with the notion, that the one God, simply 
became and is man, in every sense in which He can 
still be spoken of as God ? 

Writing zealously and freely on this side of the 
Catholic doctrine, Dionysius laid himself open to the 
animadversion of timid and narrow-minded men, who 
were unwilling to receive the truth in that depth and 
fulness in which Scripture reveals it, and who thought 
that orthodoxy consisted in being at all times careful 
to comprehend in one phrase or formula the whole of 
what is believed on any article of faith. The Roman 
Church, even then celebrated for its vigilant, perhaps 
its over earnest exactness, in matters of doctrine and 
discipline, was made the arbiter of the controversy. 
A council was held under the presidency of Dionysius 

t (about A.D. 260), in which the Alexandrian 
prelate was accused by the Pentapolitans of asserting 
liiat the Son of God is made and created, distinct in 
nature from the incommunicable essence of the 
Father, "as the vine is distinct from the vine-drcsscr," 
aid in consequence, not eternal. The illustration 
iTiputed to Dionysius in this accusation, being a 
reference to our Lord's words in the fifteentli chapter 
of" St. John, is a sufficient explanation by itself of the 
real drift of his statement, even if his satisfactory 
answer were not extant, to set at rest all doubt con- 
"^crning his orthodoxy. In that answer, addressed to 
liis namesake of Rome, he observes first, that his 
letter to the Sabellians, being directed against a par- 
ticular error, of course contained only so much of the 
entire Catholic doctrine as was necessary for the 
refutation of that error ; — that his use of the words 
"J'ather and Son," in itself implied his belief in a one- 
ness of nature between Them ; — that in speaking of 
the Son as "made," he had no intention of distin- 
guishing " made " from " begotten," but, including all 
kinds of origination under the term, he used it to 
discriminate between the Son and His undcrived self- 
originating Father ; — lastly, that in matter of fact he 
did confess the Catholic doctrine in its most unquali- 
fied and literal sense, and in its fullest and most 
accurate exposition. In this letter he even recognizes 
the celebrated Honioiision (consitbstaiitial) which was 
afterwards adopted at Nicfea. However, in spite of 
these avowals, later writers, and even Basil himself, 
do not scruple to complain of Dionysius as having 
sown the first seeds of Arianism ; Basil confessing the 
while that his error was accidental, occasioned by his 
vehement opposition to the Sabcllian heresy. 

128 Sabellianism. [chap. i. 

Gregory of Neocsesarea, on the other hand, is so far 
more hardly circumstanced than Dionysius, first, inas- 
much as the charge against him was not made till after 
his death, and next, because he is strangely accused 
of a tendency to Sabellian as well as Arian errors. 
Without accounting for the former of these charges, 
which does not now concern us, I offer to the reader 
the following explanation of the latter calumny. Sa- 
bellianism, in its second or emanative form, had con- 
siderable success in the East before and at the date of 
Gregory. In the generation before him, Hermogenes, 
who professed it, had been refuted by Theophilus and 
Tertullian, as well as by Gregory's master, Origen, 
who had also reclaimed from a similar error Ambrosius 
and Beryllus^ Gregory succeeded him in the con- 
troversy with such vigour, that his writings were suffi- 
cient to extinguish the heresy, when it reappeared in 
Pontus at a later period. He was, moreover, the prin- 
cipal bishop in the first Council held against Paulus 
of Samosata, whose heresy was derived from the 
emanative school. The Synodal Letter addressed by 
the assembled bishops to the heresiarch, whether we 
ascribe it to this first Council, with some critics, or 
with others to the second, or even with Basnage reject 
it as spurious, at least illustrates the line of argument 
which it was natural to direct against the heresy, and 
shows how easily it might be corrupted into an Arian 
meaning. To the notion that the Son was but in- 
habited by a divine power or presence impersonal, and 
therefore had no real existence before He came in 
the flesh, it was a sufficient answer to appeal to the 

• Euseb. Hist. iv. 24. Theod. Haer. i. 19. TcrtuU. in Hcrmog. 
Huet. Origen, lib. i. 

CT. v.] 



^^rcat works ascnocd to Him in the beginning of all 
"lings, and especially to those angelic manifestations 
^y -which God revealed Himself lo the elder Church, 
aiicj ivhich were universally admitted to be rcpresen- 
'*tions of the Living and Personal Word. The 
-synodal Letter accordingly professes a belief in the 
^on, as the Image and Power of God, which was 
^Gfore the worlds, in absolute existence, the living and 
'*^telligert Cause of creation ; and cites some of the 
^ost striking texts descriptive of His ministrative 
Office under the Jewish law, such as His appearance 
to Abraham and Jacob, and to Moses in the burning 
bush^. Such is the statement, in opposition to Paulus 
of Samosata, put forth by Gregory and his associate 
bishops at Antioch; and, the circumstances of the 
controversy being overlooked, it is obvious how easily 
it may be brought to favour the hypothesis, that the 
Son is in all respects distinct from the Father, and 
by nature as well as in revealed office inferior to Him. 
Lastly, it so happened, that in the course of the 
third century, the word Homoiisio/i became more or 
less connected with the Gnostic, Manichzcan, and 
Sabellian theologies. Hence early writers, who had 
but opposed these heresies, seemed in a subsequent 
age to have opposed what had been by that time 
received as the characteristic of orthodoxy ; as, on 
the other hand, the Catholics, on their adopting it in 
that later age, were accused of wiiat in an earlier time 
would have been the Sabellian error, or again of the 
introduction of corporeal notions into their creed. 
But of this more hereafter. 

130 Sabellianism. [chap. i. 

Here a close may be put to our inquiry into the 
circumstances under which Arianism appeared in the 
early Church. The utmost that has been proposed 
has been to classify and arrange phenomena which 
present themselves on the surface of the history ; and 
this, with a view of preparing the reader for the direct 
discussion of the doctrine which Arianism denied, and 
for the proceedings on the part of the Church which 
that denial occasioned. Especially has it been my 
object in this introduction, following the steps of our 
great divines, to rescue the Alexandrian Fathers from 
the calumnies which, with bad intentions either to 
them or to the orthodox cause, have been so freely 
and so fearlessly cast upon them. Whether Judaism 
or whether Platonism had more or less to do in pre- 
paring the way for the Arian heresy, are points of 
minor importance, compared with the vindication of 
those venerable men, the most learned, most eloquent, 
and most zealous of the Ante-Nicene Christians. 
With this view it has been shown above, that, though 
the heresy openly commenced, it but accidentally 
commenced in Alexandria ; that no Alexandrian of 
name advocated it, and that> on its appearance, it was 
forthwith expelled from the Alexandrian Church, 
together with its author ^ ; — next, that, even granting 
Platonism originated it, of which there is no proof, 
still there are no grounds for implicating the Alexan- 
drian Fathers in its formation ; that while the old 
Platonism, which they did favour, had no part in the 
origination of the Arian doctrine, the new Platonism 
or Eclecticism which may be conceived to have arian- 
ized, received no countenance from them ; that 

* [Vid. Athan. Apol. adv. Arian. 52, and Hist. Arian. 78 fin.] 


Eclecticism must abstractedly be referred to their 
schools, it arose out of them in no more exact sense 
"lan error ever springs from truth ; that, instead of 
''^^iiig welcomed by them, the sight of it, as soon as it 
"'^s detected, led them rather to condemn their own 
olcierand innocent philosophy ; and that, in Alexan- 
'''"ia, there was no Eclectic successor to Ammonius 
'■^Vlio concealed his infidelity to the last), till after the 
'- *^ mmencement of the Arian troubles ; — further, that 
St-anting (what is undeniable) that the Alexandrian 
■^athers sometimes use phrases which are similar to 
*Viose afterwards adopted by the heretics, these were 
•Occidents, not the characteristics of their creed, and 
■\\"ere employed from a studied verba! imitation of the 
Jewish and phiJosophica! systems ;— of the philoso- 
phical, in order to conceal their own depth of meaning, 
and to concihate the heathen, a duty to which their 
peculiar functions in the Christian world especially 
bound them, and of the Jewish, from an affectionate 
reverence for the early traces, in the Old Testament, 
of God's long-mcditatcd scheme of mercy to manlcind j 
— or again, that where they seem to arianize, it is 
from incompleteness rather than from unsoundness 
ia their confessions, occasioned by the necessity of op- 
posing a contrary error tlien infecting the Church ; 
that five Fathers, who have more especially incurred 
the chaise of pliilosophizing in their creed, belong to 
the schools of Rome and Antioch, as well as of Alex- 
andria, and that the most unguarded speculator in the 
Alexandrian. Origen, is the very writer lirst to detect 
for us, and to denounce the Arian tenet, at feast sixty 
years before it openly presented itself to the world. 
Oa the other hand, if. dismissing this side of the 

132 Sabelltanism. [chap. i. 

question, we ask whence the heresy actually arose, we 
find that contemporary authors ascribe it partially to 
Judaism and Eclecticism, and more expressly to the 
influence of the Sophists ; that Alexander, to whose 
lot it fell first to withstand it, refers us at once to 
Antioch as its original seat, to Judaism as its ultimate 
source, and to the subtleties of disputation as the 
instrument of its exhibition : that Arius and his 
principal supporters were pupils of the school of 
Antioch ; and lastly, that in this school at the date 
fixed by Alexander, the above-mentioned elements of 
the heresy are discovered in alliance, almost in union, 
Paulus of Samosata, the judaizing Sophist, being the 
favourite of a court which patronized Eclecticism, 
when it was neglected at Alexandria. 

It is evident that deeper and more interesting ques- 
tions remain, than any which have here been ex- 
amined. The real secret causes of the heresy ; its 
connexion with the character of the age, with the 
opinions then afloat, viewed as active moral influences, 
not as parts of a system ; its position in the general 
course of God's providential dealings with His 
Church, and in the prophecies of the New Testament ; 
and its relation towards the subsequently developed 
corruptions of Christianity ; these are subjects towards 
which some opening may have been incidentally 
made for inquirers, but which are too large to be 
imagined in the design of a work such as the present. 

The teaching of the ante-nicene church in 
its relation to the arian hekesv. 


It has appeared in the foregoing Chapter, that the 

temper of the Ante-Nicene Church was opposed to 

the imposition of doctrinal tests upon lier members ; 

__and on tlie other hand, that such a measure became 

pessary in proportion as the cogency of Apos- 

SUc Tradition was weakened by lapse of time. This 

I subject which will bear some further remarks ; 

1 will lead to an investigation of the principle upon 

khich the formation and imposition of creeds rests. 

■ this, I shall delineate the Catholic doctrine 

; as held in the first ages of Christianity; and 

I, the Arian substitution for it 

I have already observed, that the knowledge of the 
[Christian mysteries was, in those times, accounted as 
i privilege, to be eagerly coveted. It was not likely, 

134 O^ ^^^ P7'inciple of the Forntatioti [cH. ii. 

then, that reception of them would be accounted a 
test ; which implies a concession on the part of the 
recipient, not an advantage. The idea of disbelieving, 
or criticizing the great doctrines of the faith, from the 
nature of the case, would scarcely occur to the primi- 
tive Christians. These doctrines were the subject of 
an Apostolical Tradition ; they were the very truths 
which had been lately revealed to mankind. They 
had been committed to the Church's keeping, and 
were dispensed by her to those who sought them, as a 
favour. They were facts, not opinions. To come to 
the Church was all one with expressing a readiness to 
receive her teaching ; to hesitate to believe, after 
coming for the sake of believing, would be an incon- 
sistency too rare to require a special provision against 
the chance of it^ It was sufficient to meet the evil as 
it arose : the power of excommunication and deposi- 
tion was in the hands of the ecclesiastical authorities, 
and, as in the case of Paulus, was used impartially. 
Yet, in the matter of fact, such instances of contumacy 
were comparatively rare; and the Ante-Nicene heresies 
were in many instances the innovations of those who 
had never been in the Church, or who had already 
been expelled from it. 

We have some difficulty in putting ourselves into 
the situation of Christians in those times, from the 
circumstance that the Holy Scriptures are now our 
sole means of satisfying ourselves on poifiU of doctrine. 
Thus, every one who comes to the Church considers 
himself entitled to judge and decide individually 
upon its creed. But in that primitive age, the 

^ [Hoc penitus absurdum est, ut discipulus, ad magistrum vadens, 
tmte sit artifex quam doceatur, &c. Hieron. adv. Lucif. 12.] 

4ECT. r.J ami Imposition oj Creeds. 135 

Apostolical Tradition, that is, the Creed, was prac- 
tically the chief source of instruction, especially 
considering the obscurities of Scripture ; and being 
withdrawn from public view, it could not be subjected 
to the degradation of a comparison, on the part of 
inquirers and ha!f-Christians, with those written docu- 
ments which are vouchsafed to us from the same 
inspired authorities. As for the baptized and incor- 
porate members of the Church, they of course had the 
privilege of comparing the written and the oral 
tradition, and might exercise it as profitably as in 
comparing and harmonizing Scripture with itself 
But before baptism, the systematic knowledge was 
withheld ; and without it. Scripture, instead of being 
the source of instruction on the doctrines of the 
Trinity and Incarnation, was scarcely more than a 
sealed book, needing an interpretation, amply and 
powerfully as it served the purpose of proving those 
doctrines, when they were once disclosed. And so 
much on the reluctance of the primitive Fathers to 
publish creeds, on the ground that the knowledge of 
Christian doctrines was a privilege reserved for those 
who were baptized, and in no sense a subject of hesi- 
tation and dispute. — It may bo added, that the very 
love of power, which in every age will sway the bulk 
of those who are exposed to the temptation of it, and 
ecclesiastics in the number, would indispose them to 
innovate upon a principle which made tliemselves the 
especial guardians of revealed truth^. 

Their backwardness proceeded also from a profound 
reverence for the sacred mysteries of whicJi they were 
the dispensers. Here they present us with the true 

* ViJc Hawkins on Unauihcriialjvc Tra.rUaQ. 

1 36 On the Principle of the Formation [cH. IL 

exhibition of that pious sensitiveness which the 
heathen had conceived, but could not justly execute. 
The latter had their mysteries, but their rude attempts 
were superseded by the divine discipline of the Gospel, 
which here acted in the office which is peculiarly its 
own, rectifying, combining, and completing the inven- 
tions of uninstructed nature. If the early Church 
regarded the very knowledge of the truth as a fearful 
privilege, much more did it regard that truth itself as 
glorious and awful ; and scarcely conversing about it 
to her children, shrank from the impiety of subjecting 
it to the hard gaze of the multitude 3. We still pray, 
in the Confirmation service, for those who are intro- 
duced into the full privileges of the Christian cove- 
nant, that they may be " filled with the spirit of God's 
holy fear ;" but the meaning and practical results of 
deep-seated religious reverence were far better under- 
stood in the primitive times than now, when the 
infidelity of the world has corrupted the Church. 
Now, we allow ourselves publicly to canvass the 
most solemn truths in a careless or fiercely argumen- 
tative way; truths, which it is as useless as it is 
unseemly to discuss in public, as being attainable 
only by the sober and watchful, by slow degrees, with 

' Sozomen gives this reason for not inserting the Nicene Creed in his 
history x " I formerly deemed it necessary to transcribe the confession of 
faith drawn up by the unanimous consent of this Council [the Nicene], 
in order that posterity might possess a public record of the truth ; but 
subsequently I was persuaded to the contrary by some godly and learned 
friends, who represented that such matters ought to be kept secret, as 
being only requisite to be known by disciples and their instructors 
(fjivaraiq koI ftro-Taycuyots), and it is possible that the volume will fall 
into the hands of the unlearned (twv aymviyTwv)." Hist. i. 20. Bohn'a 

iJtpeiiilcnce on the Giver of wisdom, and with strict 
obedience to the light which has already been granted. 
Then, they would scarcely express in writing, what is 
now not only preached to the mixed crowds who 
frequent our churches, but circulated in print among 
3'l ranks and classes of the unclean and the profane, 
snd pressed upon all who choose to purchase it. Nay, 
so perplexed is the present state of things, that the 
Church is obliged to change her course of acting, after 
"le spirit of the alteration made at Nic^a, and unwiU 
'"igly to take part in the theological discussions of the 
''^y, as a man crushes venomous creatures of necessity, 
Powerful to do it, but loathing the employment. 
■Hiis is the apology which the author of the present 
^ork, as far as it is worth while to introduce himself, 
offers to all sober-minded and zealous Christians, for 
"Venturing to exhibit publicly the great evangelical 
doctrines, not indeed in the medium of controversy or 
proof (which would be a still more humiliating 
office), but in an historical and explanatory form 
And he earnestly trusts, that, while doing so, he may 
be betrayed into no familiarity or extravagance of 
expression, cautiously lowering the Truth, and (as it 
were), wrapping it in reverent language, and so 
depositing it in its due resting-place, which is the 
Christian's heart : guiltless of those unutterable 
profanations with which a scrutinizing infidelity 
wounds and lacerates it. Here, again, is strikingly 
instanced the unfitness of books, compared with 
private communication, for the purposes of religious 
instruction ; levelling, as they do, the distinctions of 

Id and temper by the formality of the written 
■acter, and conveying each kind of kno^'tcdge the 

138 On the Principle of the Formation [ch. ii. 

less perfectly, in proportion as it is of a moral nature, 
and requires to be treated with delicacy and discrim- 


As to the primitive Fathers, with their reverential 
feelings towards the Supreme Being, great must have 
been their indignation first, and then their perplexity, 
when apostates disclosed and corrupted the sacred 
truth, or when the heretical or philosophical sects 
made guesses approximating to it. Though the 
heretics also had their mysteries, yet, it is remarkable, 
that as regards the high doctrines of the Gospel, they 
in great measure dropped that restraint and reserve 
by which the Catholics partly signified, and partly 
secured a reverence for them. Tertullian sharply 
exposes the want of a grave and orderly discipline 
among them in his day. " It is uncertain," he says, 
who among them is catechumen, who believer. They 
meet alike, they hear alike, they pray alike ; nay, 
though the heathen should drop in, they will cast 
holy things to dogs, and their pearls, false jewels as 
they are, to swine. This overthrow of order they call 
simplicity, and our attention to it they call mere- 
tricious embellishment. They communicate with all 
men promiscuously ; it being nothing to them in what 
they diff*er from them, provided they join with them 
for the destruction of the truth. They are all high- 
minded ; all make pretence of knowledge. Their 
catechumens are perfect in the faith before they are 
fully taught. Even their women are singularly 
forward ; venturing, that is, to teach, to argue, to 
exorcise, to undertake cures, nay, perhaps to baptise"*." 

* Tcrtull. de Prapscr. hap ret. § 41. 

and Imposititm of Creeds. 

The heretical spirit is ever one and the same in its 
mous forms : this description of the Gnostics was 
exactly paralleled, in all those points for which we 
have introduced it here, in the history of Arianism ; 
historically distinct as is the latter system from 
Gnosticism. Ariiis began by throwing out his ques- 
tions as a subject of debate for public consideration ; 
and at once formed crowds of controversialists from 
those classes who were the least qualified or deserving 
to take part in the discussion. Alexander, his 
diocesan, accuses him of siding with the Jews and 
heathen against the Church ; and certainly wc learn 
'^rom the historians, that tlie heathen philosophers 
Were from the first warmly interested in the dispute, 
so that some of them attended the Nicenc Council, 
for the chance of ascertaining the orthodox doctrine. 
Alexander also charges him with employing women 
fn his disturbance of the Church, apparently referring 
at the same time to the Apostle's prediction of them. 
He speaks especially of the younger females as 
zealous in his cause, and as traversing Alexandria in 
their eagerness to promote it ; — a fact confirmed by 
Epiphaniiis, who speaks (if he may be credited) of 
as man>' as seven hundred from the religious societies 
of that city at once taking part with the heresiarchS. 
But Arius carried his agitation lower still. It is on 
no other authority than that of the historian Pliilo- 
stoigius, his own partisan, that we are assured of his 
composing and setting to music, songs on the subject 
of his doctrine for the use of the rudest classes of 
society, with aview of familiarizing them to it. Other 
^■f his compositions, of a higher literary excellence, 
^^H|m.L6. TbcoJ. Hl3^ i. iv. S02. i. iS. Ki>iph. h»r. lilt. 3. 

140 On the Prineipk of the Formation 

were used at table as a religious accompanimeol 
the ordinary meal ; one of which, in part preserved \if 
Athanasius, enters upon the most sacred portions of 
the theological question^. The success of these 
cxF;rtions in drawing public attention to his doctrine 
is lecorded by Eusebius of CsEsarea, who, though no 
friend of the heresiarch himself, is unsuspicious 
evidence as being one of his party. "' From a Httlc 
spark a great fire was kindled. The quarrel began 
in the Alexandrian Church, then it spread through the 
whole of Egypt, Lybia, and the farther Thebais ; then 
it ravaged the other provinces and cities, till the war 
of words enlisted not only the prelates of the churches, 
but the people toa At length the exposure was so 
extraordinary, that even in the heathen tlieatres, the 
divine doctrine became the subject of the vilest ridi- 
cule^." Such was Arianism at its commencement; 
and if it was so indecent in tlie hands of its originator, 
who, in spite of his courting the multitude, was di^, 
tinguishcd by a certain reserve and loftiness iiij 
personal deportment, much more flagrant waj 
impiety under the direction of his less refined { 
ccssors. Valens, the favourite bishop of Constat 
exposed the solemnities of the Eucharist in a jutS 
examination to which Jews and heathen were a 
ted ; Eudoxius. the Arianizer of the Gothic natt 
when installed in the patriarchal throne of Coosti 
nopic, uttered as his first words a profane jest, \ 
was received with loud laughter in the ncwly^ 
crated Church of St Sophia ; and Aetius, the fos 
of the Anomceans, was tlie grossest and 

* Phlkuil. Ih 1. AlhAn. In Aiian. i. j ; de Spi. 1 
> BomU VU. Conn. II. 61. Vid. Gccg. Nu. Oia 

i- I4*i£n- 8lJ 

t i J and Imposition of Creeds. 141 

ble of buffoons^. Later still, wo find the same 
description of the heretical party in a discourse of the 
ii'nd and amiable Gregory of Nazianzus. With a 
reference to the Arian troubles he says, " Now is 
priest an empty name ; contempt is poured upon the 
rulers, as Scripture says. . , . All fear is banished from 
our souls, shamclessness has taken its place. Know- 
ledge is now at the will of him who chooses it, and all 
the deep mysteries of the Spirit. We are all pious, 
because we condemn the impiety of others. We use 
the infidels as our arbiters, and cast what is holy to 
dogs, and pearls before swine, publishing divine truths 
to profane ears and minds ; and, wretches as we are, 
we carefully fulfil the wishes of our enemies, while, 
without blushing, we ' pollute ourselves in our inven- 
tions^.' " 

Enough has now been said, by way of describing 
the condition of the Catholic Church, defenceless 
from the very sacredness and refinement of its disci- 
pline, when the attack of Arianism was made upon it; 
insulting its silence, provoking it to argue, unsettling 
and seducing its members 1, and in consequence 
requring its authoritative judgment on the point in 
dispute: And in addition to the instruments of evil 

• Athan. Apol, conlr. Arian. 31. Socr. ii. 43. Cave, Hist. Lifcrar. 
Tol, i. [Eustathius speaks of Ihe iropo^ofoi t^s 'Apit'ou Qv^tKift 
IM<r6)(op<il. Phol. Bibl. p. 759. 3;.] 

» CKg. Nai. Or^, i. i3S; pi. 79.] 

' [" Is i I not enough to disiiaci a man, on mere hearing', though 
Bnable to cnnlroven, anil to make him st'jp his ears, from astonishment 
at the novelty of what he hears said, which even to mention is to blas- 
pheme? " Aih. Oral.i. 35- Hence, as if feeling the matter 10 be beyond 
argument, Alhanasi us could but call the innoyatois "Atioiminl«e»,"frotn 
tilt: Geiceiiess of tbcw " ii^sc dixit." Vid. Athan. Transl. vol. ii. p. 377.] 

142 On the Principle of the Forfnaiion [ch. il 

which were internally directed against it, the Eclectics 
had by this time extended their creed among the 
learned, with far greater decorum than the Arians, 
but still so as practically to interpret the Scripturc-s in 
the place of the Church, and to state dogmatically 
the conclusions for which the Arian controvertists 
were but indirectly preparing the mind by their 
objections and sophisms. 

Under these circumstances, it was the duty of the 
rulers of the Church, at whatever sacrifice of their 
feelings, to discuss the subject in controversy fully 
and unreservedly, and to state their decision openly. 
The only alternative was an unmanly non-interference, 
and an arbitrary or treacherous prohibition of the dis- 
cussion. To enjoin silence on perplexed inquirers, is 
not to silence their thoughts ; and in the case of 
serious minds, it is but natural to turn to the spiritual 
ruler for advice and relief, and to feel disappointment 
at the timidity, or irritation at the harshness, of those 
who refuse to lead a lawful inquiry which they cannot 
stifle 2. Such a course, then, is most unwise as well as 
cruel, inasmuch as it throws the question in dispute 
upon other arbitrators ; or rather, it is more com- 
monly insincere, the traitorous act of those who care 
little for the question in dispute, and are content that 
opinions should secretly prevail which they profess 
to condemiL The Nicene Fathers might despair of 
reclaiming the Arian party, but they were bound to 

2 \KLvhwos yap TrpoSocrtas, ci' t^ firf irpo^ctpisis airoSi^vai rots 
vepl Oeov dTroKpurcis toIs dyavoKn tov Kvptov, Basil, Ep. 7. Vide 
Hil. de Trin. xii. 20. 

ercxt a witness for the truth, which might be a g-uide 
and a warning to all Catholics, against the lying spirit 
wliich was abroad in the Church, These remarks 
apply to a censure which is sometimes passed on 
Ihem, as if it ivas their duty to have shut up the 
question in the words of Scripture ; for the words of 
iJcripture were the very subject in controversy, and 
to have prohibited the controversy, would, in fact, 
liave been but to insult the perplexed, and to ex- 
trad real encouragement to insidious opponents of 
"le truth.- — But it may be expedient here to explain 
more fully the principle of the obligation which led to 
llidr interposition. 

Let it be observed then, that as regards the doctrine 
of tile Trinity, the mere text of Scripture is not calcu- 
lated either to satisfy the intellect or to ascertain the 
lemper of those who profess to accept it as a rule of 

I. Before the mind has been roused to reflection 
and inquisitiveness about its own acts and impressions, 
it acquiesces, if religiously trained, in that practical 
devotion to the Blessed Trinity, and implicit acknow- 
Ugment of the divinity of Son and Spirit, which 
y Scripture at once teaches and exemplifies. This is 
[ faith of uneducated men, which is not the less 
blosophically correct, nor less acceptable to God, 
iause it does not happen to be conceived in those 
[Cise statements which presuppose the action of tlie 
on its own sentiments and notions. Moral 
ings do not directly contemplate and reaUze to 
]selves the objects which excite them. A heathen 
(pbeying his conscience, implicitly worships ilim oi 
Ljn he has never distinctly heard. Again, a child 

144 ^^ ^^^ Principle of tlie Formation [ch. ir. 

feels not the less afTectionate reverence towards his 
parents, because he cannot discriminate in words, nay, 
or in idea, between them and others. As, however, 
his reason opens, he might ask himself concerning the 
ground of his own emotions and conduct towards 
them ; and might find that these are the correlatives 
of their peculiar tenderness towards him, long and 
intimate knowledge of him, and unhesitating assump- 
tion of authority over him ; all which he continually 
experiences. And further, he might trace these 
characteristics of their influence on him to the essential 
relation itself, which involves his own original debt to 
them for the gift of life and reason, the inestimable 
blessing of an indestructible, never-ending existence. 
And now his intellect contemplates the object of those 
affections, which acted truly from the first, and are 
not purer or stronger merely for this accession of know- 
ledge. This will tend to illustrate the sacred subject 
to which we are directing our attention. 

As the mind is cultivated and expanded, it can- 
not refrain from the attempt to analyze the vision 
which influences the heart, and the Object in which 
that vision centres ; nor does it stop till it has, in 
some sort, succeeded in expressing in words, what has 
all along been a principle both of its affections and of 
its obedience. But here the parallel ceases ; the 
Object of religious veneration being unseen, and dis- 
similar from all that is seen, reason can but represent 
it in the medium of those ideas which the experience 
of life affords (as we see in the Scripture account, as 
far as it is addressed to the intellect) ; and unless 
these ideas, however inadequate, be correctly applied 
to it, they re-act upon the affections, and deprave the 

SECT, l] and Imposition of Creeds. 145 

religious principle. This is exemplified in the case of 
the heathen, who, trying to make their instinctive 
notion of the Deity an object of reflection, pictured to 
their minds false images, which eventually gave them 
a pattern and a sanction for sinning. Thus the sys- 
tematic doctrine of the Trinity may be considered as 
the shadow, projected for the contemplation of the 
intellect, of the Object of scriptural ly-informed piety: 
a representation, economical ; necessarily imperfect, 
^ being exhibited in a foreign medium, and therefore 
involving apparent inconsistencies or mysteries ; given 
to the Church by tradition contemporaneously with 
those apostolic writings, which are addressed more 
directly to the heart ; kept in the background in the 
infancy of Christianity, when faith and obedience 
Were vigorous, and brought forward at a time when, 
reason being disproportionately developed, and aiming 
at sovereignty in the province of religion, its presence 
became necessary to expel an usurping idol from the 
house of God. 

If this account of the connexion between the theo- 
logical system and the Scripture implication of it be 
substantially correct, it will be seen how ineffectual all 
attempts ever will be to secure the doctrine by mere 
general language. It may be readily granted that the 
intellectual representation should ever be subordinate 
to the cultivation of the religious affections. And 
alter all, it must be owned, so reluctant is a well-con- 
^"•^^^ted mind to reflect on its own motive principles, 
^^ the correct intellectual image, from its hardness 
Outline, may startle and offend those who have all 
^^S been acting upon it. Doubtless there are 
^^ions of the ecclesiastical doctrine, presently to be 

1 46 On the Principle of the Formation [cH. ii* 

exhibited, which may at first sight seem a refinement^ 
merely because the object and bearings of them are not:: 
understood without reflection and experience. But: 
what is left to the Church but to speak out, in order 
to exclude error ? Much as we may wish it, we can- 
not restrain the rovings of the intellect, or silence its 
clamorous demand for a formal statement concerning 
the Object of our worship. If, for instance, Scripture 
bids us adore God, and adore His Son, our reason at 
once asks, whether it does not follow that there are 
two Gods ; and a system of doctrine becomes unavoid- 
able ; being framed, let it be observed, not with a 
.view of explaining, but of arranging the inspired 
notices concerning the Supreme Being, of providing, 
not a consistent, but a connected statement. There 
the inquisitiveness of a pious mind rests, viz., when it 
has pursued the subject into the mystery which is its 
limit. But this is not all. The intellectual expres- 
sion of theological truth not only excludes heresy, but 
directly assists the acts of religious worship and 
obedience ; fixing and stimulating the Christian 
spirit in the same way as the knowledge of the One 
God relieves and illuminates the perplexed conscience 
of the religious heathen. — And thus much, on the 
importance of Creeds to tranquillize the mind ; the 
text of Scripture being addressed principally to the 
affections, and of a religious, not a philosophical 

2. Nor, in the next place, is an assent to the text of 
Scripture sufficient for the purposes of Christian 
fellowship. As the sacred text was not intended to 
satisfy the intellect, neither was it given as a test of 
,the religious temper which it forms, and of which it is 

'strr. l.y and'lmpiisitioii. of Creeds. 



expression. Doubtless no combination of words 
'''ill ascertain an unity of sentiment in those who 
3dopt them ; but one form is n"'re adapted for the 
purpose than another. Scripture being unsystematic, 
^id the faith which it propounds being scattered 
'*>rough its documents, and understood only when 
"^ey are viewed as a whole^ the Creeds aim at con- 
*^^ri[rating its general spirit, so as to give security to 
'*ie Church, as far as maybe, that its members take 
''i^at definite view of that faith which alone is the true 
^'Xc. But, if this be the case, how idle is it to suppose 
*"*.at to demand assent to a form of words which 
^■^ppens to be scriptural, is on that account sufficient 
^^* effect an unanimity in thought and action ! If the 
^^ — iurch would be vigorous and influential, it must be 
'^^cided and plain-spoken in its doctrine, and must 
^"^ard its faith rather as a character of mind than as 
^- notion. To attempt comprehensions of opinion, 
Amiable as the motive frequently is, is to mistake 
•arrangements of words, which have no existence 
except on paper, for habits which are realities ; and 
ingenious generalizations of discordant sentiments for 
that practical agreement which alone can lead to co- 
operation. We may indeed artificially classify light 
and darkness under one term or formula ; but nature 
has her own fixed courses, and unites mankind by 
the sympathy of moral character, not by those forced 
resemblances which the imagination singles out at 
leasure even in the most promiscuous collection of 
laterials. However plausible may be the veil thus 
tiirown over heterogeneous doctrines, the flimsy 
artifice is discomposed so soon as the principles 
beneath it are called upon to move and act Nor are 


148 Oft tlie Principle of the Formation [cH. 11. 

these attempted comprehensions innocent ; for, it 
being the interest of our enemies to weaken the 
' Church, they have always gained a point, when they 
have put upon us words for things, and persuaded us 
to fraternize with those who, differing from us in 
essentials, nevertheless happen, in the excursive range 
of opinion, somewhere to intersect that path of faith, 
which centres in supreme and zealous devotion to the 
service of God. 

Let it be granted, then, as indisputable, that there 
are no two opinions so contrary to each other, but 
some form of words may be found vague enough to 
comprehend them both. The Pantheist will admit 
that there is a God, and the Humanitarian that Christ 
is God, if they are suffered to say so without explana- 
tion. But if this be so, it becomes the duty, as well as 
the evident policy of the Church, to interrogate them, 
before admitting them to her fellowship. If the 
Church be the pillar and ground of the truth, and 
bound to contend for the preservation of the faith 
once delivered to it ; if we are answerable as ministers 
of Christ for the formation of one, and one only, 
character in the heart of man ; and if the Scriptures 
are given us, as a means indeed towards that end, but 
inadequate to the office of interpreting themselves, 
except to such as live under the same Divine 
Influence which inspired them, and which is expressly 
sent down upon us that we may interpret them, — 
then, it is evidently our duty piously and cautiously 
to collect the sense of Scripture, and solemnly to 
promulgate it in such a form as is best suited, as far 
as it goes, to exclude the pride and unbelief of the 
world. It will be admitted that, to deny to individual 

IkctTj and Iinpositiott of Creeds. 149 

s the use of terms not found in Scripture, as 
such, would be a superstition and an encroachment on 
their religious liberty ; and in like manner, doubtless, 
to forbid the authorities of the Church to require an 
acceptance of such terms, when necessary, from its 
members, is to interfere with the discharge of their 
P^uliar duties, as appointed of the Holy Ghost to be 
overseers of the Lord's flock. And, though the dis- 
charge of this office is the most momentous and 
'^^rfu! that can come upon mortal man, and never to 
"^ Undertaken except by the collective illumination 
°'^ the Heads of the Church, yet, when innovations 
^*"'se, they must discharge it to the best of their 
**ility ; and whether they succed or fail, whether they 
^ve judged rightly or hastily of the necessity of 
^cir interposition, whether they devise their safe- 
^Vard well or ill, draw the line of Church fellowship 
^toadly or narrowly, countenance the profane rcasoner, 
■^T cause the scrupulous to stumble, — to their Master 
*liey stand or fall, as in all other acts of duty, the 
Cibligation itself to protect the Faith remaining un- 

This is an account of the abstract principle on 
which ecclesiastical confessions rest. In its practical 
adoption it has been softened in two important 
respects. First, the Creeds imposed have been 
compiled either from Apostolical traditions, or from 
primitive writings ; so that in fact the Church has 
never been obliged literally to collect the sense of 
Scripture. Secondly, the test has been used, not as a 
condition of communion, but of authority. As learn- 
^^H^ 13 not necessary for a private Christian, so neither 
^H^tEie full knowledge of the theological system. Tjie 

^ J 

1 50 O71 the Principle of the Formation, &€. 

clergy, and others in station, must be questioned as to 
their doctrinal views : but for the mass of the laity, it is 
enough if they do not set up such counter-statements 
of their own, as imply that they have systematized^ 
and that erroneously. In the Nicene Council, the 
test was but imposed on the Rulers of the Church. 
Lay communion was not denied to such as refused to 
take it, provided they introduced no novelties of their 
own ; the anathemas or excommunications being 
directed solel} against the Arian innovators. 



^EGIN by laying out the matter of evidence for the 
- ^tholic Doctrine, as it is found in Scripture ; that is, 
^suming it to be there contained, let us trace out the 
'^Tm in which it has been communicated to us.^the 
*sposition of the phenomena, which imply it, on the 
^^ee of the Revelation, And here be it observed, in 
, ^ference to what has already been admitted concern- 
* *ig the obscurity of the inspired documents, that it is 
'Nothing to the purpose whether or not wc should have 
teen able to draw the following view of the doctrine 
from them, had it never been suggested to us in the 
Creeds, For it has been (providentially) so suggested 
to all of us ; and the question is not, what we should 
have done, had we never had external assistance, but, 
taking things as we find them, whether, the clue to 
the meaning of Scripture being given, (as it ever has 
been given,) we may not deduce the doctrine thence, 
by as argumentative a process as that which enables 
us to verify the received theory of gravitation, which 
perhaps we could never have discovered for ourselves, 
though possessed of the data from which the inventor 
drew his conclusions. Indeed, such a state of the case 
is analogous to that in which the evidence for Natural 
Religion is presented to us. It is very doubtful. 

152 The Scripture Doctrine [chap, ii, 

whether the phenomena of the visible world would in 
themselves have brought U5 to a knowledge of the 
Creator ; but the universal tradition of His existence 
has been from the beginning His own comment upon 
them, graciously preceding the study of the evidence. 
With this remark I address myself to an arduous 

First, let it be assumed as agreeable both to reason 
and revelation, that there are Attributes and Opera- 
tions, or by whatever more suitable term we designate 
them, peculiar to the Deity ; for instance, creative 
and preserving power, absolute prescience, moral 
sovereignty, and the like. These are ever included 
in our notion of the incommunicable nature of God ; 
and, by a figure of speech, were there occasion for 
using it, might be called one with God, present, 
actively co-operating, and exerting their own distin- 
guishing influence, in all His laws, providences, and 
acts. Thus, if He be eternal, or omnipresent, we 
consider His knowledge, goodness, and holiness, to be 
co-eternal and co-extensive with Him. Moreover, 
it would be an absurdity to form a comparison 
between these and God Himself; to regard them as 
numerically distinct from Him ; to investigate the 
particular mode of their existence in the Divine 
Mind ; or to treat them as parts of God, inasmuch as 
they are all included in the idea of the one Indivisible 
Godhead. And, lastly, subtle and unmeaning ques- 
tions might be raised about some of these ; for 
instance, God's power : whether, that is, it did or did 
not exist from eternity, on the ground, that bearing a 
relation to things created, it could not be said to have 
existence before the era of creation '. 

^ Origen de Principiis, i. 2, § 10. 



Next, ft is to be remarked, that the Jewish Scrip- 
hrres introduce to our notice certain pccuHar Attri- 
butes or Manifestations (as they would seem) of the 
Deity, corresponding in some measure to those 

(Jready mentioned as conveyed to us by Natural 
Religion, though of a more obscure character. Such 
Pwhat is called "the Spirit of God ;" a phrase which 
enotes sometimes the Divine energy, sometimes 
creative or preserving power, sometimes the assem- 
blage of Divine gifts, moral and intellectual, vouch- 
safed to mankind ; having in all cases a general 
connexion with the notion of the vivifying principle 
of nature. Such again, is " the Wisdom of God," 
as introduced into the book of Proverbs ; and such is 
the "Name," the " Word," the "Glory," of God. 

Further, these peculiar Manifestations (to give them 
a name) are sometimes in the same elder Scriptures 
singularly invested with the properties of personality ; 
and, although the expressions of the sacred text may 
in some places be interpreted figuratively, yet there 
are passages so strangely worded, as at first sight to 
be inconsistent with themselves, and such as would be 
ascribed, in an uninspired work, to forgetfulness or in- 
accuracy in the writer ; — as, for instance, when what is 
first called the Glory of God is subsequently spoken of 
as an intelligent Agent, often with the characteristics, 
or even the name of an Angel. On the other hand, it 
elsewhere occurs, that what is introduced as an Angel, 
^afterwards described as God Himself. 
pKow, when we pass on to the New Testament, we 
these peculiar Manifestations of the Divine 
rence concentrated and fixed in two, called the 
ITord, and the Spirit, At the same time, the 

154 'The Scripture Doctrine [cijap. ii. 

apparent Personality ascribed to Them m the Old 
Testament, is changed for a real Personality, so 
clearly and -explicitly marked as to resist all critical 
experiments upon the language, all attempts at alle- 
gorical interpretation. Here too the Word is also 
called the Son of God, and appears to possess such 
strict personal attributes, as to be able voluntarily to 
descend from heaven, and assume our nature without 
ceasing to be identically what He was before ; so as 
to speak of Himself, though a man, as one and the 
same with the Divine Word who existed in the 
beginning. The Personality of the Spirit in some 
true and sufficient sense is as accurately revealed ; and 
that the Son is not the Spirit, is also evident from the 
fixed relations which are described as separating 
Them from each other in the Divine Essence. 

Reviewing this process of revelation, Gregory Nazi- 
anzen, somewhat after the manner of the foregoing 
account, remarks that, as Almighty God has in the 
course of His dispensations changed the ritual of 
religion by successive abrogations, so He has changed 
its theology by continual additions till it has come to 
perfection, " Under the Old Dispensation," he pro- 
ceeds, " the Father was openly revealed, and the Son 
but obscurely. When the New was given, the Son 
was manifested, but the Divinity of the Spirit inti- 
mated only. Now the Spirit dwells with us, affording 
us clearer evidence about Himself, . . . that by gradual 
additions, and flights, as David says, and by advanc- 
ing and progressing from glory to glory, the radiance 
of the Trinity might shine out on those who are 
illuminated 2." 

• Greg. Naz. Orat. xxxvii. p. 608 ; [xxxi. 36,] 




Now from this peculiar method in which the 
doctrine is unfolded to us in Scripture, we learn so 
much as this in our contemplation of it ; viz. the 
absurdity, as well as the presumption, of inquiring 
niinutely about the actual relations subsisting between 
God and His Son and Spirit, and drawing large 
inCerenccs from what is told us of Them, Whether 
ifiey are equal to Him or unequal, whether posterior 
'" Him in existence or coeval, such inquiries (though 
"ften they must be answered when once started) are 
'" their origin as superfluous as similar questions con- 
'^'■''"nLng the Almighty's relation to His own attributes 
(which still we answer as far as we can, when asked) ; 
for the Son and the Spirit are otie with Him, the ideas 
°' number and comparison being excluded. Yet this 
s'^^tement must be qualified from the evidence of 
Scripture, by two additional remarks. On the one 
liand, the Son and Spirit are represented to us in the 
Economy of Revelation, as ministering to God, and 
as, so far, personally subordinate to Him ; and on the 
otiicr hand, in spite of this personal inequality, yet, as 
being partakers of the fulness of the Father, they are 
equal to Him in nature, and in Their claims upon our 
faith and obedience, as is sufficiently proved by the 
form of baptism. — , 

The mysteriousness of the doctrine evidently lies \ 
in our inability to conceive a sense of the word person, 
such, as to be more than a mere character, yet less 
than an individual intelligent being ; our own notions, 
as gathered from our experience of human agents, 
leading us to consider personality as equivalent, in itsr 

Eidea, to the unity and independence of thej 
aterial substance of which it is predicated, J 




This being the general Scripture view of the Holy 
Trinity, it follows to describe the Ecclesiastical Doc- 
trine, chiefly in relation to our Lord, as contained in 
the writings of the Fathers, especially the Ante- 

Scripture is express in declaring both the divinity 
of Him who in due time became man for us, and also 
His personal distinction from God in His pre-existent 
state. This is sufficiently clear from the opening of 
St John's Gospel, which states the mystery as dis- 
tinctly as an ecclesiastical comment can propound it 
On these two truths the whole doctrine turns, viz. 
that our Lord is one with, yet personally separate 
from God. Now there are two appellations given to 
Him in Scripture, enforcing respectively these two 
essentials of the true doctrine ; appellations imperfect 
and open to misconception by themselves, but quali- 
fying and completing each other. The title of the 

^ The examples cited are principally borrowed from the elaborate 
catalogues furnished by Petavius, Bishop Bull, and Suicer, in his The* 
saurus and his Comment on the Nicene Creed. 

SECT. III.] of tlie Trinity. 157 

Son marks His derivation and distinction from the 
Father, that of the Word (i.e. Reason) denotes His 
inseparable inherence in the Divine Unity ; and while 
the former taken by itself, might lead the mind to con- 
ceive of Him as a second being, and the latter as no 
real being at all, both together witness to the mystery, 
that He is at once from^ and yet /;/, the Immaterial, 
incomprehensible God. Whether or not these titles 
contain the proof of this statement, (which, it is 
presumed, they actually do,) at least, they will enable 
us to classify our ideas : and we have authority for 
^o using them. " The Son," says Athanasius, " is the 
Word and Wisdom of the Father : from which titles 
^^ infer His impassive and indivisible derivation from 
the Father, inasmuch as the word (or reason) of a 
'^an is no mere part of him, nor when exercised, goes 
^orth from him by a passion ; much less, therefore, is 
it so with the Word of God. On the other hand, the 
■P'ather calls Him His Son, lest, from hearing only 
that He was the Word, we should consider Him such 
^s the word of man, impersonal, whereas the title of 
Son, designates Him as a Word which exists, and a 
substantial Wisdom 2." 

A. vailing ourselves of this division, let us first dwell 
on the appellation of Son, and then on that of Word 
or Reason. 
•> _ — 

Athan. dc Syn. 41. 

''i Uic same way the Semi-Arian Basil (of Ancyra), sj caking of such 

eretics as argued that the Son has no existence separate from the 

^'ner, because He is called the Word, sayp, " For this reason our prcde- 

^^""s, in order to signify that the Son has a reality, and is in being, and 

^ tnere word which comes and goes, were obliged to call Him a 

- ^^^nce. . » . For a word has no real existence, and cannot be a Son 

^^> else were there many sons.** Ep*ph. Hxr. Ixxiii. i3. 

158 The Ecclesiastical Doctrine' \ciiA\\ il 


Nothing can be plainer to the attentive student of 
Scripture, than that our Lord is there called the Son 
of God, not only in respect of His human nature, but 
of His pre-existent state also. And if this be so, the 
very fact of the revelation of Him as such, implies 
that we are to gather something from it, and attach in 
consequence of it some ideas to our notion of Him, 
which otherwise we should not have attached ; else 
would it not have been made. Taking then the word 
in its most vague sense, so as to admit as little risk as 
possible of forcing the analogy, we seem to gain the 
notion of derivation from God, and therefore, of the 
utter dissimilarity and distance existing between 
Him and all beings except God His Father, as if He 
partook of that unapproachable, incommunicable 
Divine Nature, which is increate and imperishable. 

But Scripture does not leave us here : in order to 
fix us in this view, lest we should be perplexed with 
another notion of the analogy, derived from that 
adopted sonship, which is ascribed therein to created 
beings, it attaches a characteristic epithet to His 
Name, as descriptive of the peculiar relation of Him 
who bears it to the Father. It designates Him as the 
Oniy-begotteii or the own'^ Son of God, terms evidently 
referring, where they occur, to His heavenly nature, 
and thus becoming the inspired comment on the more 
general title. It is true that the term generation is 
also applied to certain events in our Lord's media- 
torial history: to His resurrection from the dead^; 

• [John i. I. 14. 18; iU. 16; v. 18. Rom. viii. 32. Heb. i. 1 — 14.] 

♦ Ps. ii. 7. Acts xiii 33. Heb. v. 5. Rev. i. 5. Rom. i. 4. 

SWr. m,] of ih Trinity. 

and,accordingto theFathcrsS, to His original r 
in the beginning of all things to create the world ; and 
to His manifestation in the flesh. Still, granting this, 
tie sense of the word " oniy-begotten " remains, 
defined by its context to relate to something higher 
than any event occurring in time, however great or 
beneficiaJ to the human race. 

Being taken then, as it needs must be taken, to 
designate His original nature, it witnesses most 
forcibly and impressively to that which is peculiar in 
it, viz. His origination from God, and such as to 
exclude all resemblance to any being but Him, whom 
nothing created resembles. Tiius, without irreverently 
and idiy speculating upon the generation in itself, but 
considering the doctrine as given us as a practical 
direction for our worship and obedience, we may 
accept it in token, that whatever the Father is, such is 
the Son. And there are some remarkable texts in 
Scripture corroborative of this view : for instance, that 
in the fifth chapter of St. John, " As the Father hath 
life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have 
life in Himself. . What things soever the Father 
docth, these also doetli the Son likewise. For the 
Father loveth the Son, and showeth Him all things 
that Himself doc-th. . As the Father raiseth up the 
dead and quickcncth them, even so the Son quickeneth 
whom He will . . that all men should honour the Son 
even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth 
not the Son, honoureth not the Father which hath 
sent Him." 

This is the principle of interpretation acknowledged 
by the primitive CJiurch. Its teachers warn us against 

* Bull, DefdU. P[(!. Nic. ill. 9, { ii. 

1 60 The Ecclesiastical Doctrine [chap. ll. 

resting in the word "generation," they urge us on to 
seize and use its practical meaning. " Speculate not 
upon the divine generation (gennesisX* says Gregory 
Nazianzen, " for it is not safe .... let the doctrine 
be honoured silently ; it is a great thing for thee to 
know the fact ; the mode, we cannot admit that even 
Angels understand, much less thou 6." Basil says, 
"Seek not what is undiscoverable, for you will not 
discover ; . . if you will not comply, but are obstinate, 
I shall deride you, or rather I weep at your daring : 
.... believe what is written, seek not what is not 
written 7." Athanasius and Chrysostom repel the 
profane inquiry argumentatively. "Such specula- 
. tors," the former says, " might as well investigate, 
where God is, and how God is, and of what nature 
I the Father is. But as such questions are irreligious, 
i and argue ignorance of God, so is it also unlawful to 
\ venture such thoughts about the generation of the 
i Son of God." And Chrysostom ; " I know that He 
begat the Son : the manner how, I am ignorant of. I 
know that the Holy Spirit is from Him ; how from 
Him, I do not understand. I eat food ; but how this 
is converted into my flesh and blood, I know not 
We know not these things, which we see every day 
when we eat, yet we meddle with inquiries concerning 
the substance of God 8." 

While they thus prohibited speculation, they boldly 
used the doctrine for the purposes for which it was 
given them in Scripture. Thus Justin Martyr speaks 
of Christ as the Son, " who alone is literally called by 
that name :" and arguing with the heathen, he says, 

* Greg. Naz. Orat. xxxv. 39, 30 [xxix. 8]. 

7 Petav. V. 6, § 2. • Ibid. 

SHT. ii]."j 

of the THnity. 


"Jfsus might well deserve from His wisdom to be 
called the Son of God, though He were only a man 
lite others, for all writers speak of God as the ' Father 
of both men and gods.' But let it not be strange to 
ynu, if. besides this common generation, we consider 
/lim, as the Word of God, to have been begotten of 
God in a special way^."' Eusebius of C:esarea, unsatis- 
factory as he is as an authority, has nevertheless 
well expressed the general Catholic view in his attack 
upon Marcellus. " He M*ho describes the Son as a 
creature made out of nothing," he says, "does not 
observe that he is bestowing on Him only the name 
of Son, and denying Him to be really such ; for He 
who has come out of nothing, cannot truly be the 
Son of God, more than other things which are made. 
But He who is truly the Son, born from God, as from 
a Father, He may reasonably be called the singularly 
beloved and only-begotten of the Father, and therefore 
He is Himself God '." This last inference, that what is 
bom of God, is God, of course implicitlyappeals to, and 
is supported by, the numerous texts which expressly 
call the Son God, and ascribe to Him the divine 
attributes '. 

• Bull, Defciis. ii. 4, { i. [The sentence nins on tlius :— TOis toi- 
'Ep/i^ Kuyov rui- irapis. 6eoC dyytXTtKciv \frjovmv. Apol. i. 12.] 

' Eustb. de Eccic5. ThcoL i. 9, 10. 

* The follawing are additional specimens from prlmiliyc theology, 
Clcmcni calls the Son " the perfect Woid, born of Ihc pfifttt Kaihcr." 
Tfftullian, afkr quoting the text, " All that the Father halh are Mine," 
a^U^ "If so, Khj- should not the Fathei's titlss be His? When then 
we read that God is .Almighty, and the Highest, and the God of Host', 
mnd the King of Isiacl, and Jehovah, see to it whether the Son also benoi 
■ignificd by these passagcf, as being in His own right itie Almighi;- 
Cod, inasmuch as lie is the Word of the Almiglity Co.!.'' tull, DdLii». 
".6. »3-7.t4- 


1 62 The Ecclesiastical Doctrine [chap, ii. 

The reverential spirit in which the fathers held the 
doctrine of the gennesis^ led them to the use of other 
forms of expression, partly taken from Scripture, 
partly not, with a view of signifying the fact of the 
Son's full participation in the divinity of Him who is 
His Father, without dwelling on the mode of partici- 
pation or origination, on which they dared not specu- 
late 3. Such were the images of the sun and its 
radiance, the fountain and the stream, the root and 
its shoots, a body and its exhalation, fire and the fire 
kindled from it ; all which were used as emblems of 
the sacred mystery in those points in which it was 
declared in Scripture, viz. the mystery of the Son's 
being from the Father and, as such, partaker in His 
Divine perfections. The first of these is found in the 
first chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews, where 
our Lord is called, " the brightness of God's glory.*' 
These illustrations had a further use in their very 
variety, as reminding the Christian that he must not 
dwell on any one of them for its own sake. The 
following passage from TertuUian will show how they 
were applied in the inculcation of the sacred doctrine. 
" Even when a ray is shot forth from the sun, though 
it be but a part from the whole, yet the sun is in the 
ray, inasmuch as it is the ray of the sun ; nor is its 
substance separated, but drawn out. In like manner 
there is Spirit from Spirit, and God from God. As 
when a light is kindled from another, the original 
light remains entire and undiminished, though you 
borrow from it many like itself ; so That which pro- 
ceeds from God, is called at once God, and the Son of 
God, and Both are One^. " 

' Vtd Athan. ad Serap. i. 20. * Bull, Defens. ii. 7, ( a* 

SECT, in.] of the Trinity. 

So much is evidently deducible from what Scripture 
tells us concerning the generation of the Son ; that 
there is, (so to express it,) a reiteration of the One 
Infinite Nature of God, a communicated divinity, in 
the Person of our Lord ; an inference supported by 
the force of the word " only begotten," and verified 
by the freedom and fulness with which the Apostles 
ascribe to Christ the high incommunicable titles of 
eternal perfection and glory. There is one other 
notion conveyed to us in the doctrine, which must be 
evident as soon as stated, little as may be the practical 
usefulness of dwelling upon it. The very name of Son, 
and the very idea of derivation, imply a certain sub- 
ordination of the Son to the Father, so far forth as we 
view Him as distinct from the Father, or in His 
personality : and frequent testimony is borne to the 
correctness of this inference in Scripture, as in the 
descriptions of the Divine Angel in the Old Testa- 
ment, revived in the closing revelations of the New^ ; 
and in such passages as that above cited from St. 
John's Gospel^. This is a truth which every Christian 
feels, admits, and acts upon ; but from piety he wOuld 
not allow himself to reflect on what he does, did not 
the attack of heresies oblige him. The direct answer 
which a true religious loyalty leads him to make to 
any question about the subordination of the Son, is 
that such comparisons arc irreverent, that the Son is 
«ne with the Father, and that unless he honours the 
Son in all the fulness of honour which he ascribes to 
the Father, he is disobeying His express command. 
It may serve as a very faint illustration of the offence 
given him, to consider the manner in which he would 

^H given him 

164 The Ecclesiastical Doctrine [chap. il. 

receive any question concerning the love which he 
feels respectively for two intimate friends, or for a 
brother and sister, or for his parents : though in such 
cases the impropriety of the inquiry, arises from the 
incommensurableness, not the coincidence, of the 
respective feelings. But false doctrine forces us to 
analyze our own notions, in order to exclude it 
Arius argued that, since our Lord was a Son, there- 
fore He was not God : and from that time we have 
been obliged to determine how much we grant and 
what we deny, lest, while praying without watching, 
we lose all. Accordingly, orthodox theology has 
since his time worn a different aspect ; first, inasmuch 
as divines have measured what they said themselves ; 
secondly, inasmuch as they have measured the Ante- 
Nicene language, which by its authors was spoken 
from the heart, by the necessities of controversies of a 
later date. And thus those early teachers have been 
made appear technical, when in fact they have only 
been reduced to system ; just as in literature what is 
composed freely, is aftenvards subjected to the rules 
of grammarians and critics. This must be taken as 
an apology for whatever there is that sounds harsh in 
the observations which I have now to make, and for 
^ the injustice which I may seem incidentally to do in 
the course of them to the ancient writers whose words 
are in question. 

" The Catholic doctors," says Bishop Bull, " both be- 
fore and after the Nicene Council, are unanimous in 
declaring that the Father is greater than the Son, even 
as to divinity [paternity ?] ; i. e. not in nature or any 
essential perfection, which is in the Father and not in 
Son, but alone in what may be called authority. 


that is in point of origin, since the Son is from the 
Father, not the Father from the Son^." Justin, for 
instance, speaks of the Son as " having the second 
place after the unchangeable and everlasting God and 
Fatlier of all." Origen says that "the Son is' not 
nnore powerful than the Father, but subordinate 
(tnro5eitj-Tepov) ; according to His own words, 'The 
Father that sent Mc. is greater than I.'" This text is 
dted in proof of the same doctrine by the Nicene, 
Post-Nicene Fathers, Alexander, Athanasius, 
;il, Gregory Nazianzen, Chrysostom, Cyril, and 
others, of whom we may content ourselves with the 
words of Basil : " ' My Father is greater than I,' that 
is, so far forth as I'ather, since what else docs ' Fa- 
ther' signify, than that He is cause and origin of Him 
who was begotten by Him f " and in another place, 

' Bull, Delens. i 

cl propne 

Or, again, 10 lake the 

ni Palre divmitattm h; 

dlflert. Pioinde Filietas ipsa Palcrnitat eqiiDtlanim 

ins, qua Filius, Paire, ut Paici est, minor dicitur, quoniain origine est 
ion aultm ul Dtus," ii. i, § i^.] Cudworih, loo, nbseiresi 
himself, eipnunding ihc Aihanasian creed, wiilcth in this 
The Father is in a right Catholic manner affirmed l>y most of 
die ancients, to be greater than the Son, and He is commonly said also, 
irilhoin reprehension, to be before Him in respect of original.' Whcre- 
npon he cooeludeth the true meaning of that Creed to be this, that no 
Fenon of the Trinity is greater or less than other in respect of the essence 

oflheGodhtad common 10 them all but that notwilhsianding 

there may be some inequality in them, as they are Hie Deus et I lac 
fosona. Wherefore when Athanasius, and the other orthodoi Fathers, 
■riling against Atius, do bo frequently assert the equality of all the Three 
Persons, this is id be understood in way of opposition ta Arius only, who 

mode tba Son to be unequal id the Father, as crcpoowios one 

beiiig God, and the other a, creature ; they afflrniing on the contrary, 
equal to the Father, as d/iooimTIos .... thai is, as Gaf, 
Cain. InCelL Syst 4, { 36. 

1 66 The Ecclesiastical Doctrine [chap. ii. 

" The Son is second in order to the Father, since He 
is from Him ; and in dignity, inasmuch as the Father 
is the origin and cause of His existence 8" 

Accordingly, the primitive writers, with an unsuspi- 
cious" yet reverent explicitness, take for granted the 
ministrative character of the relation of both Son and 
Spirit towards the Father ; still of course speaking of 
Them as included in the Divine Unity, not as external 
to it. Thus Irenaeus, clear and undeniable as is his 
orthodoxy, still declares, that the Father " is minis- 
tered to in all things by His own Offspring and 
Likeness, the Son and Holy Ghost, the Word and 
Wisdom, of whom all angels are servants and sub- 
jects ^Z* In like manner, a ministry is commonly 
ascribed to the Son and Spirit, and a bidding and 
willing to the Father, by Justin, Irenaeus, Clement, 
Origen, and Methodius', altogether in the spirit of the 
Post-Nicene authorities already cited : and without 
any risk of misleading the reader, as soon as the 
second and third Persons are understood to be internal 
to the Divine Mind, connaUiralia instrumental con- 
current (at the utmost) in no stronger sense, than when 
the human will is said to concur with the reason. 
Gregory Nazianzen lays down the same doctrine witli 
an explanation, in the following sentence : " It is 
plain," he says, " that the things, of which the Father 
designs in Him the forms, these the Word executes ; 
not as a servant, nor unskilfully, but with full know- 

* Justin, Apol. i. 13. 60. Bull, Defens. iv. 2, § 6, § 9. Petav. ii. 3, 

§ 2, &a 

" Petav. i. 3, § 7. 

* VTnypco-io, fiovXrjarL^, OtXrjfm, praeceptio. Petav. ibid. eL scqq. 


ledge a0(I a master's power, and, to speak more 
suitably, as if He were the Father 2." 

Such is the Scriptural and Catholic sense of the 
word Son ; on the other hand, it is easy to see what 
was the defect of this image, and the consequent 
danger in the use of it. First, there was an appear- 
ance of materiality, the more suspiciously to be viewed 
because there were heresies at the time which denied 
or neglected the spiritual nature of Almighty God. 
Next, too marked a distinction seemed to be drawn 
between the Father and Son, tending to give a separate 
individuality to each, and so to introduce a kind of 
,<litheism ; and here too heresy and philosophy had 
prepared the way for the introduction of the error. 
The Valeiitinians and Manichees are chargeable with 
both misconceptions. The Eclectics, with the latter; 
being Emanatists, they seem to have considered the 
Son to be both individually distinct from the Father, 
and of an inferior nature. — Against these errors we 
have the following among other protests. 

TertulHail says, " We declare that two are revealed 
'as God in Scripture, two as Lord ; but we explain 
ourselves, lest offence should be taken. They are not 
called two, in respect of their both being God, or 
Lord, but in respect of their being Father and Son ; 
and this moreover, not from any division of substance, 
but from mutual relation, since we pronounce the Son 
:o be individual with and inseparable from the Fa- 
Origen also, commenting upon the word 

I Boll, Dcfcns. ii. ].;. {10. IGng. Oiat. xxx. 11. Foe the suboiiii- 
n of intdialorsbi]!, viil. Ailian. Oral. iv. 6,] 
Bull. Defrns, ii. 4,f,).7. 5 5- Pelav. i.4,il. 

1 68 The Ecclesiastical Doctrine [chap. ii. 

"brightness^," in the first chapter of the Hebrews, 
says, " Holy Scripture endeavours to give to men a 
refined perception of its teaching, by introducing the 
illustration of breath 5. It has selected this material 
image, in order to our understanding evien in some 
degree, how Christ, who is Wisdom, issues, as though 
Breath, from the perfection of God Himself. .... In 
like manner from the analogy of material objects, He 
is called a pure and perfect Emanation of the 
Almighty glory^. Both these resemblances most 
clearly show the fellowship of nature between the 
Son and Father. For an emanation seems to be of 
one substance with that body of which it is the 
emanation or breath 7." And to guard still more 
strongly against any misconception of the real drift 
of the illustration, he cautions his readers against 
"those absurd fictions which give the notion of 
certain literal extensions in the Divine Nature; as 
if they would distribute it into parts, and divide 
God the Father, if they could ; whereas to entertain 
even the light suspicion of this, is not only an extreme 
impiety, but an utter folly also, nay not even intelli- 

* airavyao'iw.. 

* arfiLS* Wisd. vii. 25. 

* SLTToppouLf ibid. 

' In like manner Justin, after saying that the Divine Power called the 
Word is bom from the Father, adds, " but not by separation from Him 
(kot aTTOTOfiijy) as if the Father lost part of Himself, as corporeal sub- 
stances are not the same before and after separation." [Tryph. 1 28.] 
"The Son of God,** says Clement, "never relinquishes His place of 
vratch, not parted or separated off, not passing from place to place, but 
always every where, illimitable, all intellect, all the light of the Father, 
all eye, all-seeing, all-hearing, all-knowing, searching the powers with 
His power." [Strom, vii. a.] 

gihle at all, that an incorporeal nature should be 
rapable of division^." 

To meet more fullj this misconception to which 
the word Sen gave rise, the ancient Fathers availed 
themselves of the other chief appellation given to our 
Lord in Scripture. The Logos or Sophia, the Word, 
Reason, or Wisdom of God, is only by St. John dis- 
tinctly applied to Christ ; but both before his time 
and by his contemporarj^ Apostles it is used in that 
ambiguous sense, half literal, half evangelical, which, 
when it is once known to belong to our Lord, guides 
us to the right interpretation of the metaphor. For 
instance, when St. Paul declares that "the Word of 
God is alive and active, and keener than a two-edged 
sword, and so piercing as to separate soul and spirit, 
joints and nerves, and a judge of our thoughts and 
designs, and a witness of every creature," it is scarcely 
possible to decide whether the revealed law of God be 
spoken of, or the Eternal Son. On the whole it 
would appear that our Lord is called the Word or 
Wisdom of God in two respects; first, to denote His 
essential presence in the Father, in as full a sense as 
the attribute of wisdom is essential to Him ; secondly. 
His mediatorship, as the Interpreter or Word between 
God and His creatures. No appellation, surely, could 
have been more appositely bestowed, in order to 
counteract the notions of materiality and of distinct 
individuahty, and of beginning of existence, which the 
title of the Son was likely to introduce into the 
Jiolic doctrine. Accordingly, after tlie words 

^^^Jatholic dot 

hi >9> 

1 70 Tfie Ecclesiastical Doctrine [chap. ii. 

lately cited, Origen uses it (or a metaphor like it) for 
this vtry purpose. Having mentioned the absurd 
idea, which had prevailed, of parts or extensions in 
the Divine Nature, he proceeds : " Rather, as will 
proceeds out of the mind, and neither tears the mind, 
nor is itself separated or divided from it, in some such 
manner must we conceive that the Father has be- 
gotten the Son, who is His Image." Elsewhere he 
says, " It were impious and perilous, merely because 
our intellect is weak, to deprive God, as far as our 
words go, of His only-begotten co-eternal Word, viz. 
the 'wisdom in which He rejoiced.* We might as 
well conceive that He was not for ever in joy^" 
Hence it was usual to declare that to deny the 
eternity of our Lord was all one as saying that 
Almighty God was once without intelligence ' : for 
instance, Athenagoras says, that the Son is " the first- 
bom of the Father ; not as made, for God being Mind 
Eternal, had from the beginning reason in Himself, 
being eternally intellectual ; but as issuing forth upon 
the chaotic mass as the Idea and Agent of Creation^. " 
The same interpretation of the sacred figure is con- 
tinued after the Nicene Council ; thus Basil says, " If 
Christ be the Power of God, and the Wisdom, and 
these be increate and co-eternal with God, (for He 
never was without wisdom and power,) then, Christ 
is increate and co-eternal with God 3." 

But here again the metaphor was necessarily imper- 

' Bull, Defens. iii. 3, § i« 
* oXoyos. 

- Bull, Defens. iii. 5, % 2, rov Ao-^or . . . /\o7tico? , , , tt^ocA^oi^ 
, . . t8ca Kttl iv€py€La. 
' Pelav. vi. 9, § 2. 




feet; and, if pursued, open to misconception. Its 
obvious tendency was to obliterate the notion of the 
Son's Personality, that is, to introduce Sabellianism. 
Something resembling this was the error of Paulus of 
Samosata and Marcellus : who, from the fleeting and 
momentary character of a word spoken, inferred that 
the Divine Word was but the temporary manifestation 
of God's glory in the man Christ. And it was to 
interact this tendency, that is, to witness against it, 
,at the Fathers speak of Him as the Word in an 
v/>osiasu\ the permanent, real, and living Word. 

The above is a sketch of the primitive doctrine con- 
cerning our Lord's divine nature, as contained in the 
two chief appellations which arc ascribed to Him in 
I Scripture. The opposite ideas they convey may be 
■ further denoted respectively by the symbols "of God," 
I and " in GodS ; " as though He were so derived from 
I the simple Unity of God as in no respect to be divided 
for extended from it, (to speak metaphorically,) but to 
['inhere within that ineffable individuality. Of these 
I two conditions^ of the doctrine, however, the divinity 
I of Christ, and the unity of God, the latter was much 
tmore earnestly insisted on in the early times. The 
P divinity of our Lord was, on the whole, too plain a 

' jvuTMrntTos Aoyos. 

* Ik Btov and iv 6vf. 

• [Son and Word, " 0/ Corf," and " in Gad" howewr, imply each olher. 
" If not Son, neilher is He Word : if not Word, neither is He Son." 
Alhan. Oral. i*. 14. "The Son's Being, because of (he Father, is theic- 

n the Father." Athan. iii. 3. " Quia Vetbuni idco I'llius," August. 
|lnhftkn,nt. 14, t 5.J 

172 The Ecclesiastical Doctrine [chap. 11. 

truth to dispute ; but in proportion as it was known to 
*he heathen, it would seem to them to involve this con- 
sequence, — that, much as the Christians spoke against 
polytheism, still, after all, they did admit a polytheism 
of their own instead of the Pagan. Hence the 
anxiety of the Apologists, while they assail the 
heathen creed on this account, to defend their own 
against a similar charge. Thus Athenagoras, in the 
passage lately referred to, says ; " Let no one ridicule 
the notion that God has a Son. For we have not 
such thoughts either about God the Father or about 
the Son as your poets, who, in their mythologies, 
make the Gods no better than men. But the Son of 
God is the Word of the Father [as Creator] both, in 
idea and in active power 7 .... the Father and the 
Son being one. The Son being in the Father, and 
the Father in the Son, in the unity and power of the 
Spirit, the Son of God is the Mind and Word of the 
Father." Accordingly, the divinity of the Son being 
assumed, the early writers are earnest in protecting 
the doctrine of the Unity ; protecting it both from 
the materialism of dividing the Godhead, and the 
paganism of separating the Son and Spirit from the 
Father. And to this purpose they made both the " of 
God," and the "in God," subservient, in a manner 
which shall now be shown. 

First, the " in God." It is the clear declaration of 
Scripture, which we must receive without questioning, 
that the Son and Spirit are in the one God, and He 
in Them. There is that remarkable text in the first 
chapter of St. John which says that the Son is " in the 

' iSc^ Kttl ev€/ry€ia, as at p. 1 70. 

Sect, hi.] 

of the Trinity. 


Lbosom of the Father." In another place it is said 
[.that " the Son is in the Father and the Father in the 
»iiSon." (John xiv. 11.) And elsewhere the Spirit of 
God is compared to " the spirit of a man which is in 
him" (i Cor. ii. 11). This is, in the language of 
theology, the doctrine of ih-Gcoinheretice^ ; which was 
used from the earliest times on the authority of 
L Scripture, as a safeguard and witness of the Divine 
t Unity. A passage from Athenagoras to this purpose 
^.lias just been cited. Clement has the following dox- 
ology at the end of his Christian Instructor. "To 
the One Only Father and Son, Son and Father, Son 
our guide and teacher, with the Holy Spirit also, to 
the One in all things, in whom are all things, &c. . . . 
I to Him is the glory, &c." And Gregory of Neo- 
ctEsarea, if the words form part of his creed, " In the 
Trinity there is nothing created, nothing subservient, 
nothing of foreign nature, as if absent from it once, 
and afterwards added. The Son never failed the 
Father, nor the Spirit the Son, but the Trinity remains 
[* evermore unchangeable, unalterable." These autho- 
rities belong to the early Alexandrian School. The 
Ante-Nicene school of Rome is still more explicit. 
Dionysius of Rome says, "' We must neither distribute 
into three divinities the awful and divine Unity, nor 
diminish the dignity and transcendant majesty of our 
Lord by the name of creature, but we must believe in 
God the Father Almighty, and in Christ Jesus Hi.s 
Son, and in the Holy Spirit ; and believe that the 
Word is united with the God of the universe. For 
He sa\-5, 1 and the Father are One ; and, J am in tlie 

' "'•'/I'X'iV'j'''''^* 

1 74 ^^^ Ecclesiastical Doctrine [chap. ii. 

Father, and the Father in Me. For thus the Divine 
Trinity and the holy preaching of the monarchia will 
be preserved 9 " 

This doctrine of the coinherence^ as protecting the 
Unity without intrenching on the perfections of the 
Son and Spirit, may even be called the characteristic 
of Catholic Trinitarianism as opposed to all counter- 
feits, whether philosophical, Arian, or Oriental. One 
Post-Nicenc statement of it shall be added. "If any 
one truly receive the Son, says Basil, "he will find 
that He brings with him on one hand His Father, on 
the other the Holy Spirit. For neither can He from 
the Father be severed, who is of and ever in the 
Father ; nor again from His own Spirit disunited, 
who in It operates all things. . . For we must not con- 
ceive separation or division in any way ; as if either 
the Son could be supposed without the Father, or the 
Spirit disunited from the Son. But there is discovered 
between them some ineffable and incomprehensible, 
both communion and distinction '." 

* Shortly before he had used the following still stronger expressions : 
^waOai yap avdyKq t<3 0cw twv oAcdv tov Ociov Adyov ifi<l>tXo\- 

<ap€LV 8c T<5 0€<3 Koi cvBuuTaxrOoL Set TO^Aytov UvajfJia. The Ante- 
Nicene African school is as express as the Roman. Tertullian says, 
" Connexus Patris in Filio, et Filii in Paracleto, tres efficit cohaerentes, 
qui tres unum sint, nai unus."' Bull, Defens. ii. 6, § 4; 12, § i. 11 ; 
iv. 4, 12, § I. II ; iv. 4, § 10. 

^ Petav. iv. 16, § 9. The Semi-Arian creed, called Macrostichost 
drawn up at Antioch a.d. 345, which is in parts unexceptionable in point 
of orthodoxy, contains the following striking exposition of the Catholic 
notion of the coinherence, " Though we affirm the Son to have a distinct 
existence and life as the Father has, yet we do not therefore separate Him 
from the Father, inventing place and distance between Their union after 
a corporeal manner. For we believe that they are united without medium 
or mterval, and are inseparable." And then follow words to which our 

lECT. III.] 

of ike Trinity. 

Secondly, as the " in God " led the Fathers to the 
doctrine of the coinkerence, so did the " of God " lead 
them to the doctrine of the monarchia^ ; still, with 
the one object of guarding against any resemblance to 
Polytheism in their creed. Even the heathen had 
shown a disposition, designedly or from a spontaneous 
feeling, to trace all their deities up to one Principle or 
arche : as is evident by their Theogonies^. Much 
more did it become that true religion, which promin- 
ently put forth the Unity of God, jealously to guard 
its language, lest it should seem to admit the exis- 
tence of a variety of original Principles. It is said to 
have been the doctrine of the Marcionists and 
Manichees, that there were three unconnected indepen- 
dent Beings in the Divine Nature. Scripture and the 
Church avoid the appearance of tritheism, by tracing 
back, (if we may so say,) the infinite perfections of the 
Son ajid Spirit to Him whose Son and Spirit They 
are. They are, so to express it, but the new manifes- 
Ltion and repetition of the Father ; there being no 
im for numeration or comparison between Them, 
nor any resting-place for the contemplating mind, till 
They are referred to Him in whom They centre. On 
the other hand, in naming the Father, we imply the 
Son and Spirit, whether They be named or not*. 
Without this key, the language of Scripture is per- 

Unguagf is unequal i oXou jiev tou Harpo; ccciTTC/n'ur^tvtrv tov 
Ylof oKav St Tov YiQu t^rjpTij/iivov koX TrpaoTref^KOTos tijT 
riaTpi, Koi fiovov rois TrarpuioK koXitdis OMXTrauo/icfmr StrjytKSn, 
Bull, Defcns. iv. 4, i 9, 

^B nor 

• [Vid. Athan, Tr, vol. i. pp. i 

• Cndw. Intell. Sjal. 4, { 13. 

• Athtn. ftd Senip. i. 14. 


176 The Ecclesiastical Doctrine [chap, ii, 

plexed in the extreme 5. Hence it is, that the Father 
is called " the only God," at a time when our Lord's 
name is also mentioned, John xvii. 3, I Tim. i. 16, 17, 
as if the Son was but the reiteration of His Person, 
who is the Self-Existent, and therefore not to be 
contrasted with Him in the way of number. The 
Creed, called the Apostles*, follows this mode of 
stating the doctrine ; the title of God standing in the 
opening against the Father's name, while the Son and 
Spirit are introduced as distinct forms or modes, (so 
to say,) of and in the One Eternal Being. The Nicene 
Creed, commonly so called, directed as it is against 
the impugners both of the Son's and of the Spirit's 
divinity, nevertheless observes the same rule even in 
a stricter form, beginning with a confession of the 
" One God." Whether or not this mode of speaking 
was designed in Scripture to guard the doctrine of the 
Unity from all verbal infringement (and there seems 
evidence that it was so, as in i Cor. viii. 5, 6,) it 
certainly was used for this purpose in the primitive 
Church. Thus Tertullian says, that it is a mistake 
" to suppose that the number and arrangement of the 
Trinity is a division of its Unity ; inasmuch as the 
Unity drawing out the Trinity from itself, is not 
destroyed by it, but is subserved 6," Novatian, in like 
manner, says, " God originating from God, so as to be 
the Second Person, yet not interfering with the 
Father's right to be called the one God. For, had 

^ Let I John v. 20 be taken as an example ; or again, i Cor. zii. 4 — 6. 
John xiv. 16 — 18; xvi. 7 — 15. 

• Again he says, that " the Trinity descending from the Father by 
closely knit and connected steps, both is consistent with the inonarckia 
/iTnitv), and protects the economia (revealed difipensation}." 


not a birth, then indeed when compared with Him 
had no birth, He would seem, from the appearance 
of equality in both, to make two who were without 
birth^, and therefore two Gods^." 

Accordingly it is impossible to worship One of the 
Divine Persons, without worshipping the Others also. 
In praying to the Father, we only arrive at His mys- 
terious presence through His Son and Spirit; and in 
iraying to the Son and Spirit, we are necessarily 

irried on beyond them to the source of Godhead from 
'hich They are derived. We see this in the very form 
of many of the received addresses to the Blessed 
Trinity ; in which, without intended reference to the 
mediatorial scheme, the Son and Spirit seem, even in 
tile view of the Divine Unity, to take a place in our 
thoughts between the Father and His creatures ; as in 
the ordinary doxologies "to the Father through the 
Son and by the Spirit," or "to the Father and Son in 
the unity of the Holy Ghost." 

This gives us an insight into the force of expressions, 
common with the primitive Fathers, but bearing, in 

pji nnoriginalE i viz. on i-'-hrv^jTiK a 

Pnav. Pnef. g, i. iii. ; ^ S. Dlonysius of Alexandria Implies ihe 
Ajctrine, when he declares! " We eitend (he indivisible Unity inio 
Trinity, and again we concenliale the Indestructible Tiinily into Ihe 
Unity." And Hilar}', to ukc a Post-Niccne authoiity, " We do not 
dehact from the Father. Mis being the one God. wheti we say also (hat 
ihr Sot) is God. For He ij God frotn God, one ftoni one ; therefore one 
God, because God is fruiH Himself. On (he olhrc hatid, the Son is not 
on that account Ihe less Cod. because the Father is the one God. For 
the only-begotten Son of God is not without bitth, so as to detiacl from 
Ihe Father His being the one God, nor is He other Ibati God, but because 

Kbom of Gpd." Dc Tiin. i. Vide also Alhan. de Sent. Dinnys, 17, 
Defens. iv. 4, % 7. 



%vapx<K, i 

1 78 The Ecclesiastical Doctrine, &c. [chap, il 

the eyes of inconsiderate observers, a refined and 
curious character. They call the Son, " God of God, 
Light of Light," &c., much more frequently than 
simply God, in order to anticipate in the very form of 
words, the charge or the risk of ditheism. Hence, 
also, the illustrations of the sun and his rays, &c., were 
in such repute ; viz. as containing, not only a descrip- 
tion, but also a defence of the Catholic doctrine. 
Thus Hippolytus says, " When I say that the Son is 
distinct from the Father, I do not speak of two Gods ; 
but, as it were, light of light, and the stream from the 
fountain, and a ray from the sun 9." It was the same 
reason which led the Fathers to insist upon the doc- 
trine of the divine generation. 

• Bull» Defens. iv. 4, {> 



Variations in the ante-nicene theological 

There will, of course, be differences of opinion, in 
(deciding how much of the ecclesiastical doctrine, as 
above described, was derived from direct Apostolical 
Tradition, and how much was the result of intuitive 
spiritual perception in scripturally informed and 
deeply religious minds. Yet it does not seem too 
"lucii to affirm, that copious as it may be in theo- 
'ogical terms, yet hardly one can be pointed out 
"^^'hich is not found or strictly implied in the New 
■* ^stament itseif. And indeed so much perhaps will 

P^ granted by all who have claim to be considered 
*"initarians ; the objections, which some among them 

^*a-y be disposed to raise, lying rather against its 
''cged over- exactness in systematizing Scripture, 
^^n against the truths themselves which are con- 
fined in it. But it should be remembered, that it is 

7*'* in after times who systematize the statements of 
*^e Fathers, which, as they occur in their works, are 
•^r the most part as natural and unpremeditated as 

*-^05e of the inspired volume itself. If the more 

^^act terms and phrases of any writer be brought 

^^gether, that is, of a writer who has fixed principles 

N 2 

I So Variations in the [chap. ii. 

a; all, of course they will appear technical and severe. 
Wo count the words of the Fathers, and measure 
I heir sentences ; and so convert doxologies into 
ci wds. That we do so, that the Church has done so 
more or less from the Nicene Council downwards, is 
the fault of those who have obliged us, of those who, 
•* while men slept," have " sowed tares among the 

This remark applies to the statements brought 
together in the last Section, from the early writers : 
which, even though generally subservient to certain 
in^portant ends, as, for instance, the maintenance of 
the Unity of God, &c., are still on the whole written 
fiwly and devotionally. But now the discussion 
^Kt^ses on to that more intentional systematizing on 
ihv' part of the Ante-Nicene Fathers, which, unavoid- 
<^Wv^ a>» it was, yet because it was in part conventional 
^\\k\ individual, was ambiguous, and in consequence 
^UV^^V\kHl at times an apparent countenance to the 
.\vi<\u heresy. It often becomes necessary to settle 
^U^N |i!\raseology of divinity, in points, where the chief 
wunvUKmu is, to select the clearest words to express 
V^sKiixMirt in which all agree ; or to find the proposition 
\x^iv h will best fit in with, and connect, a number of 
\\s\^VahI doctrines. Thus the Calvinists dispute 
^V^^HS themselves whether or not God wills the dam- 
%HH'«^^^ of the non-elect ; both parties agree in doctrine, 
'A^X \lvu»bt how their own meaning may be best 
,^ss^\vi.^vHl '. However clearly we see, and firmly we 
IVtcy^ ^hv^ truth, we have a natural fear of the appear- 
"|S||^cJf' iot'onsistency ; nay, a becoming fear of mis- 

:.«y||^ ^^^^\/| liifjtnnrp infra, ch. v. § 2, in the controversy about the 

^ctvr^Aiite-Nicene Theological Statements. 1 8 1 

leading others by our inaccuracy of language ; and 
especially when our words have been misinterpreted 
by opponents, arc we anxious to guard against such 
an inconvenience in future. There are two charac- 
teristics of opinions subjected to this intellectual 
scnjtiny; first, tliey are variously expressed during 
the process ; secondly, they are consigned to arbitrary 
fonnulas, at the end of it. Now, to exemplify this in 
certain Ante-Nicene statements of the great Catholic 

The word u^aiinxro^, vigenitiis (iinhoni, iiigeiierate), 
was the philosophical term to denote that which had 
existed from eternity. It had accordingly been 
applied by Aristotle to the world or to matter, which 
was according to his system without beginning ; and 
by Plato to his ideas. Now since the Divine Word 
was according to Scripture generate. He could not be 
called ingenerate (or eternal), without a verbal contra- 
diction. In process of time a distinction was made 
between arfkvrfro^ and arievvTyTot, (increate and ifigene- 
rate.) according as the letter v was or was not doubled, 
30 that the Son might be said to be ayevtjrw^ yevuTjro^ 
^Uicreately generate). The argument which arose from 
this perplexity of language, is urged byArius himself; 
who ridicules the aAievvT)Tcr{evk<!, ingenerately-generate, 
which he conceives must be ascribed, according to the 
orthodox creed, to the Son of God==. Some years 
afterwards, the same was the palmary, or rather the 
essential argument of Eunomius, the champion of the 

^^^lom cea ns 

1 82 Variations in the cha?. ii. 


The avapxop (unoriginate). As is implied in the 
word monarchiay as already explained, the Father 
alone is the arcJu^ or origin^ and the Son and Spirit 
are not origins. The heresy of the Tritheists made it 
necessary to insist upon this. Hence the condemna- 
tion, in the (so-called) Apostolical Canons, of those 
who baptized " into the name of Three Unoriginate^." 
And Athanasius says, " We do not teach three Origins, 
as our illustration shows ; for we do not speak of 
three Suns, but of the Sun and its radiance ^." For 
the same reason the early writers spoke of the Father 
as the Fount of Divinity. At the same time, lest 
they should in word dishonour the Son, they ascribed 
to Him " an unoriginate generation " or " birth 5." 
Thus Alexander, the first champion of orthodox truth 
against Arius, in his letter to his namesake of Byzan- 
tium: "We must reserve to the unbegotten (or unborn) 
Father His peculiar prerogative, confessing that no 
one is the cause of His existence, and to the Son we 
must pay the due honour, attributing to Him the 
unoriginate generation from the Father, and as we 
have said already, paying Him worship, so as ever to 
speak of Him piously and reverently, as * pre-existent, 
ever-living,* and * before the worlds^. '" This distinction 
however, as might be expected, was but partially re- 

^ Bull, Defens. iv. i, § 6. 

* Cudw. Intell. Syst. 4, § 36 [p. 709, ed. Mosheim. But the Benedic- 
tine Ed. in Cyril, Catech. xi., says that Athanasius maintained the Son's 
avap-)(OV. Epiphanius, from i Cor. xi. 3, argues that the Father is the 
K€<l>aXrj, not the a/)XV> of the Son. Haer. 76, fin.] 

* Suicer. Symb. Nicen. c. viii. 

* Theod. Hist. i. 4, p. i8. 

^in:.n^Anie'^uene Theological Siatemenls.i^j, 

celved among the Catholics. Contrasted with all 
t^reated beings, the Son and Spirit are of necessity 
^noriginate in the Unity of the Father. Clement, 
">r instance, calls the Son, " the everlasting, unori- 
^Date, origin and commencement of all things '." It 
*as not till they became alive to the seeming ditheism 
Ofsuch phrases, which the Sabcllian controversy was 
Sure to charge upon them, that they learned the 
accurate discrimination observed by Alexander. On 
(he other hand, when the Arian contest urged them 
in the contrary direction to SabelHus, then they 
returned more or less to the original language of 
Clement, though with a fuller explanation of their 
own meaning. Gregory Nyssen gives the following 
plain account of the variations of their practice: 
Whereas the word Origin has many significations . . . 
sometimes we say that the appellation of the Unorigi- 
not unsuitable to the Son. For when it is 
;eo to mean derivation of substance from no cause, 
this indeed we ascribe to the Father alone. But 
according to the other senses of the word, since 
creation, time, the order of the world are referred to 
an origin, in respect of these we ascribe to the Only- 
begotten, superiority to any origin ; so as to believe 
Him to be beyond creation, time, and mundane order, 
through whom were made all things. And thus we 
confess Him, who is not unoriginate in regard to His 
subsistence, in all other respects to be unoriginate, 
and, while the Father is unoriginate and unborn, the 
Son to be unoriginate in the sense explained, but not 
unborn 8." 

^^^Bl Gregory ^ 

TV*" S)(povov, ayapxov, ifixjv Tt Kai airapxijv ti 
Gregory Naiianzcn sa/s the same mate concisely : i 

184 Variations in the [chap. ii. 

The word cause {aiTioi) used in this passage, as a 
substitute for that use of Origin which peculiarly 
applies to the Father as the Fount of Divinity, is 
found as early as the time of Justin Martyr, Avho in 
his dialogue with Trypho, declares the Father is to the 
Son the amo9, or cause of His being; and it was 
resumed by the Post-Nicene writers, when the Arian 
controversy was found to turn in no small degree on 
the exact application of such terms. Thus Gregory 
Nazianzen says, " There is One -God, seeing that the 
Son and Spirit are referred to One Cause 9." 


The Ante-Nicene history of the word homousion or 
consubstantialy which the Council of Nicaea adopted as 
its test, will introduce a more important discussion. 

It is one characteristic of Revelation, that it clears 
up all doubts about the existence of God, as separate 
from, and independent of nature ; and shows us that 
the course of the world depends not merely on a sys- 
tem, but on a Being, real, living, and individual. What 
we ourselves witness, evidences to us the operation 
of laws, physical and moral ; but it leaves us unsatis- 
fied, whether or not the principle of these be a mere 
nature or fate, whether the life of all things be a mere 
Anima Mundi, a spirit connatural with the body in 

aiTtov Tov IlaTcpa Xafi^avrj^j ovk avap)(os' oipXV J^P ^ov IlaT^, 
<as amos. Bull, Defens. iv. 2, § 8. i ; § 3. Petav. i. 4, § i. Suicer, 

• However, here too we have a variation in the use of the word: 
airios being sometimes applied to the Son in the sense apX'?' '^^ 
Latin word answering to airios is sometimes causae more commonly 
principium or auctor. Bull, Defens. iv. i, § 2 ; $ 4. Petav. ?, 5, $ lo. 

^^^^i IV.] Ante-Nicene Tkeologital Statements. 185 

•^^ich ft acts, or an Agent powerful to make or un 
?^*iVe, to change or supersede, according to His will. 

^ is here that Revelation suppHes the deficiency of ' 
*^fciiosop!iical religion ; miracles arc its emblem, as 
'■'^eil as its credentials, forcing on the imagination the 
*^sistence of an irresponsible self-dependent Being, as 
"^'cll as recommending a particular message to the 
*-eason. This great truth, conveyed in the very cir- 
<:;umstances under which Revelation was made, is 
explicitly recognized in its doctrine. Among other 
modes of inculcating it, may be named the appellation 
under which Almighty God disclosed Himself to the 
Israelites ; Jehovah {or, as the Septuagint translates it, 
Zu) being an expressive appellation of Him, who is 
essentially separate from those variable and perishable 
beings or substances, which creation presents to our 
observation. Accordingly, the description of Him as 
TO 6v, or in other words, the doctrine of the Qvala of 
God, that is, of God viewed as Being and as the one 
Being, became familiar to the minds of the primitive 
Christians ; as embodying the spirit of the Scriptures, 
and indirectly witnessing against the characteristic 
error of pagan philosophy, which considered the 
Divine Mind, not as a reality, but as a mere abstract 
name, or generalized Jaw of nature, or at best as a 
mere mode, principle, or an animating soul, not a 
Being externa! to creation, and possessed of individu- 
ality. Cyril of Alexandria defines the word oiia-ia, 
fiisia, being, substance,) to be " that which has exis- 
tence in itself, independent of every thing else to 
constitute it';" that is, an individual. This sense 

- nyiay^ av^ujrapirrov, ^t\ &of«vov ijipax Trpos T^v ravrov 
' licer, Thesaur. verb, oio-to. 


t86 Variations in the [chap. ii. 

of the word must be carefully borne in mind, since it 
was not that in which it is used by philosophers, who 
by it denoted the genus or species, or the " ens unum 
in multis," — ^a sense which of course it could not bear 
when applied to the One Incommunicable God. The 
word, thus appropriated to the service of the God of 
Revelation, was from the earliest date used to express 
the reality and subsistence of the Son ; and no word 
could be less metaphorical and more precise for this 
purpose, although the Platonists chose to refine, and 
from an affectation of reverence refused to speak of 
God except as hyperiisios^, Justin Martyr, for 
instance, speaks of heretics, who considered that God 
put forth and withdrew His Logos when it pleased 
Him, as if He were an influence, not a Person 3, some- 
what in the sense afterwards adopted by Paulus of 
Samosata and others. To meet this error, he speaks 
of Him as inseparable from the substance or being, 
usiuy of the Father ; that is, in order to exclude all such 
evasions of Scripture, as might represent the man 
Christ as inhabited by a divine glory, power, nature, 
and the like, evasions which in reality lead to the con- 
clusion that He is not God at all. 

For this purpose the word homoiision or consubstan- 
tial was brought into use among Christian writers ; 
viz. to express the real divinity of Christ, and that, as 
being derived from, and one with the Father's. Here 
again, as in the instance of its root, the word was 
adopted, from the necessity of the case, in a sense 

' [Or cTTCKCtva ovcrtas] Petav. [t. i. i. 6] t. ii. iv. 5, § 8. [Brucker, t. 
2» P' 395' Plot. Enn. v. lib. i. We find VTr€pov<no^ or iir€K€wa 
ovcrtas in Orig. c. Gels. vi. 64. Damasc. F. O. i. 4, 8, and 12.] 

• Justin, Tryph. 1289 


<3 liferent from the ordinary philosophical use of it. 
--^-JomoUsioti properly means of the same nature, or 
«_«nder the same general nature, or species ; that is, it is 
^a.pplied to things, which are but similar to each other, 
^nd are considered as one by an abstraction of our 
■■minds; or, it may mean of the same material. Thus 
Aristotle speaks of the stars being consubstantial with 
«ach other ; and Porphyry of the souls of brute 
animals being consubstantial to ours^. \Vlien, how- 
ever, it was used in relation to the incommunicable 
Essence of God, there was obviously no abstraction 
possible in contemplating Him, who is above all 
comparison with His works. His nature is solitary, 
peculiar to Himself, and one ; so that whatever was 
accounted to be consubstantial or co-essential with 
Htm, was necessarily included in His individuality, by 
all who would avoid recurring to the vagueness of 
philosophy, and were cautious to distinguish between 
the incommunicable Essence of Jehovah and all 
created intelligences. And hence the fitness of the 
term to denote without metaphor the relation which 
the Logos bore in the orthodox creed to His eternal 
Father. Its use is explained by Athanasius as fol- 
loivs. "Though," he says, "we cannot understand 
what is meant by the usia, being, or substance of God, 
yet we know as much as this, that God is, which is the 
way in which Scripture speaks of Him ; and after 
. this pattern, when we wish to designate Him dis- 

^^Htbictly, we say God, Father, Lord. When then He 
^^^Bhys in Scripture, 'I am o ui',' the Being, and ' I am 
^^Hjchovah, God,' or uses the plain word ' God,' we under- 
^^^Btand by such statements nothing but His incompri.'- 

^^H * Dull, Defens. i, « i. 

1 88 Variations in the [chap. n, 

hensible oxxrla (being or substance), and that He, who 
is there spoken of, is. Let no one then think it 
strange, that the Son of God should be said to be 
€« T^9 ovalaf; (from the being or substance) of God ; 
rather, let him agree to the explanation of the Nicene 
fathers, who, for the words 'of God' substituted 'of the 
divine being or substance.' They considered the two 
phrases substantially the same, because, as I have said, 
the word 'God* denotes nothing but the ovala avrov 
Tov &vTo^y the being of Him who is. On the other 
hand, if the Word be not in such sense 'of God,* as to 
be the true Son of the Father according to His nature, 
but be said to be 'of God,* merely as all creatures are 
such because they are His work, then indeed He is not 
'from the being of the Father,* nor Son 'according to 
being or substance,' but so called from His virtue, as 
we may be, who receive the title from graced." 

The term hontoiisios is first employed for this pur- 
pose by the author of the Pcemander, a Christian of 
the beginning of the second century. Next it occurs in 
several writers at the end of the second and the begin- 
ning of the third. In Tertullian, the equivalent 
phrase, "unius substantiae," "^ one substance^' is ap- 
plied to the Trinity. In Origen's comment on the 
Hebrews, the homoiision of the Son is deduced from 
the figurative title airaxr^aafuiy or radiance, there given 
to Him. In the same age, it was employed by various 
writers, bishops and historians, as we learn from the 
testimonies of Eusebius and Athanasius^. But at this 
era, the middle of the third century, a change took 

' Achan. de Deer. Nic. 22. 

• [Vide Ath. Tr. vol. ii. p. 438. Also Archelaus speaks of our Lord 
as **de substantia Dei." Routh, t. iv. p. 228.] 

SECT. Ti^Ante-I^icene Theological Statements. 1 89 

place in the use of it and other similar words, which 
5s next to be explained. 

The oriental doctrine of Emanations was at a very 
early period combined with the Christian theology. 
According to the system of Valeiitinus, a Gnostic 
heresiarch, who flourished in the early part of the 
second century, the Supreme Intelligence of the world 
L gave existence to a line of Spirits or Eons, who were 
I all more or less partakers of His nature, that is, of a 
J nature specifically the same, and included in His glory 
(TrX^pwpi), though individually separate from the true 
and Sovereign Deity. It is obvious, that such a 
teaching as this abandons the great revealed principle 
above insisted on, the incommunicable character and 
individuality of the Divine Essence. It considers all 
spiritual beings as like God, in the same sense that 
one man resembles or has the same nature as another: 
and accordingly it was at liberty to apply, and did 
actually apply, to the Creator and His creatures the 
word homoiision or constibstantial, in the philosophical 
sense which the word originally bore. We have evi- 
dence in the work of Irenseus that the Valentinians 
did thus employ it. The Manichces followed, about 
a century later ; they too were Emanatists, and spoke 
of the human soul as being consubstaiitial or co-essen- 
tial with God, of one substance with God. Their 
principles evidently allowed of a kind of Trinitarian- 
ism ; the Son and Spirit being considered Eons of a 
superior order to the rest, constibstantial with God 
because Eons, but one with God in no sense which 
was not true also of the soul of man. It is said, more- 
rover, that they were materialists ; and used the word 
tonsutistantial as it may be applied to different vessels 

1 go Variaiions in tfie [chap. n. 

or instruments, wrought out from some one mass of 
metal or wood. However, whether this was so or not, 
it is plain that anyhow the word in question would 
become unsuitable to express the Catholic doctrine, in 
proportion as the ears of Christians were familiarized 
to the terms employed in the Gnostic and Manichean 
theologies ; nor is it wonderful that at length they 
gave up the use of it. 

The history of the word probole or offspring is par- 
allel to that of the consubstantiaP , It properly means 
any thing which proceeds, or is sent forth from the 
substance of another, as the fruit of a tree, or the rays 
of the sun ; in Latin it is translated hy prolatio^ emission 
or editiOy an offspring or issue. Accordingly Justin 
employed it, or rather a cognate phrase 8, to designate 
what Cyril calls above the self-existence^ of the Son, 
in opposition to the evasions which were necessary for 
the system of Paulus, Sabellius, and the rest. Ter- 
tullian does the same ; but by that time, Valentinus 
had given the word a material signification. Hence 
TertuUian is obliged to apologize for using it, when 
writing against Praxeas, the forerunner of the Sabel- 
lians. " Can the Word of God," he asks, "be unsub- 
stantial, who is called the Son, who is even named 
God ? He is said to be in the form or image of God. 
Is not God a body [substance]. Spirit though Hebe.^ . . 
Whatever then has been the substance of the Word,^ 
that, I call a Person, and claim for it the name of Son, 
and being such. He comes next to the Father. Let 
no one suppose that I am bringing in the notion of 

7 Beausobre, Hist. Manich. iii. 7. § 6. [Vide Ath. Tr. vol. ii. p. 458.] 

• irpopXrjOev yiwrjixa. Justin. Tryph. 62. 

• avToyoi/o9. [Vide Ath. Tr. art. vtoirttTw/o, vol. ii. p. 47$. ed. 1S81.] 
» [Ibid. p. 340, art. IVord.} 

. iv.'\Anie-NiceHe T/ieologkal Statcmnits. 1 9 1 

■ any s\ic\\ frobole {offspring) as Valcntinus imagined, 

I drawing out his Eons the one from the other. Why 

[ must I give up the word in a right sense, because 

s it in a wrong? besides, heresy borrowed 

't ii"om us, and has turned truth into a he. ... . This 

IS tile difference between the uses of it Valentinus 

separates his probo!<B from their Father ; they know 

W'rn not But we hold that the Son alone knows the 

''^thcr, reveals Him, performs His will, and is within 

"irn. He is ever in the Father, as He has said ; ever 

^ith God, as it is written ; never separated from Him, 

^i" He and the Father are one. This is the true/ro- 

"'^^c, the safeguard of unity, sent forth, not divided 

*^*»'^ " Soon after Tertullian thus defended his use of 

cne word probole, Origen in another part of the Church 

& it up, or rather assailed it, in argument with 

^3-ndidus, a Valentinian. "If the Son is a probole of 

iio Father," he says, "who begets Him from Himself, 

''^^i the birth of animals, then of necessity both off- 

'F**~ing and original arc of a bodily nature^." Here 

^ see two writers, with exactly the same theological 

*~^ed before them, taking opposite views as to the pro- 

^*^i«ty of using a word which heresy had corrupted-^. 

^.^^ ^ut to return to the word consubstantial : though 

*" igen gave up the word probole, yet he used the word 

'^^^ substantial, as has already been mentioned'*. But 

^*-K3rtiy after his death, his pupils abandoned it at the 

*■ Tertull. in Prax. 7, 8, aliridged. 
^ [Pcriarch. iv. p. 190.] 
■j.,,^ * Vide an apposile note of Coustanr. Epp. Pont. Bom. p. 496, 
nasus's Woids : "nre ptolativum, ut gtnstationcm d drmas."] 
[Hut he was not consistent. Vide Hitron. eonlr. Buff. ii. 19. , 


192 Variations in the [chap. ii. 

celebrated Council held at Antioch (A.D. 264) against 
Paulus of Samosata. When they would have used it 
as a test, this heretic craftily objected to it on the very 
ground on which Origen had surrendered the probole. 
He urged that, if Father and Son were of one sub- 
stance, consubstantial, there was some common sub- 
stance in which they partook, and which consequently 
was distinct from and prior to the Divine Persons 
Themselves ; a wretched sophism, which of course 
could not deceive Firmilian and Gregory, but which, 
being adapted to perplex weak minds, might decide 
them on withdrawing the word. It is remarkable too, 
that the Council was held about the time when Manes 
appeared on the borders of the Antiochene Patriarch- 
ate. The disputative school of Paulus pursued the 
advantage thus gained ; and from that time used the 
charge of materialism as a weapon for attacking all 
sound expositions of Scripture truth. Having ex- 
torted from the Catholics the condemnation of a word 
long known in the Church, almost found in Scripture, 
and less figurative and material in its meaning than 
any which could be selected, and objectionable only in 
the mouths of heretics, they employed this concession 
as a ground of attacking expressions more directly 
metaphorical, taken from visible objects, and sanc- 
tioned by less weighty authority. In a letter which 
shall afterwards be cited, Arius charges the Catholics 
with teaching the errors of Valentinus and Manes ; 
and in another of the original Arian documents, 
Eusebius of Nicomedia, maintains in like manner 
that their doctrine involves the materiality of the 
Divine Nature. Thus they were gradually silencing 
the Church by a process which legitimately led to 

5£CT. jv^Ante-Nicene T/ieo logical Statements. 193 

Pa.ntheism, when the Alexandrians gave the alarm, 
and nobly stood forward in defence of the faith 5. 

It is worth observing that, when the Asiatic 

Cliurches had given up the consubsiantial^ they, on 

ttie contrary, had preserved it Not only Dionysius 

willingly accepts the challenge of his namesake of 

R^cme, who reminded him of the value of the symbol ; 

t>vit Theognostus also, who presided at the Catecheti- 

caJ School at the end of the third century, recognizes 

it by implication in the following passage, which has 

t)€en preserved by Athanasius. " The substance ^ of 

the Son," he says, "is not external to the Father, or 

treated ; but it is by natural derivation from that of 

the Father, as the radiance comes from light (Heb. i. 3). 

■P'or the radiance is not the sun, . . . and yet not 

foreign fo it ; and in like manner there is an effluence 

(oi^r^^^ota, Wisd. vii. 25.) from the Father's substance, 

though it be indivisible from Him. For as the sun 

^^^>nains the same without infringement of its nature, 

tixough it pour forth its radiance, so the Father's 

^^tjstance is unchangeable, though the Son be its 


Some notice of the Oekriaei yevvrjOev, or voluntary 
^^ ^^ neration, will suitably follow the discussion of the 

* [Parallel to the above instances is BnsH's objection to yiwrffia^ when 
^^^ of Ihc Son, which Athanasius and others apply to him. Vide 

%.h. Tr, vol. ii. p. .'96.] 

* [It may be questioned, however, whether the word fidstance in this 
ssage is not equivalent to hypostasis or subsistence ^ vide Appendix, 

' Athan. de Deer. Nic. 25. 


194 ) Variations in tJu [ciiap. ii. 

consubstantial ; though the subject does not closely 
concern theology. It has been already observed that 
the tendency of the heresies of the first age was to- 
wards materialism and fatalism. As it was the object 
I of Revelation to destroy all theories which interfered 
I with the belief of the Divine Omniscience and active 
; i Sovereignty, so the Church seconded this design by 
1 1 receiving and promulgating the doctrine of the " He 
jj that isy* or the Divine '* Being'' or ^^ Essence,'' as a 
symbol of His essential distinction from the perishable 
world in which He acts. But when the word substance 
or essence itself was taken by the Gnostics and Mani- 
chees in a material sense, the error was again intro- 
duced by the very term which was intended to witness 
against it According to the Oriental Theory, the 
emanations from the Deity were eternal with Himself, 
and were considered as the result, not of His will and 
personal energy, but of the necessary laws to which 
His nature was subjected ; a doctrine which was but 
fatalism in another shape. The Eclectics honourably 
distinguished themselves in withstanding this blasphe- 
mous, or rather atheistical tenet. Plotinus declares, 
that " God's substance and His will are the same ; and 
if so, as He willed, so He is ; so that it is not a more 
certain truth that, as is His substance or nature, so is 
His will and action, than, as His will and action, so is 
His substance." Origen had preceded them in their 
opposition to the same school. Speaking of the 
simplicity and perfection of the Divine Essence, he 
says, " God does not even participate in substance, 
rather He is partaken ; by those, namely, who have 
the Spirit of God. And our Saviour does not share 
in holiness, but, being holiness itself, is shared by the 

holy." The meaning of this doctrine is clear ; — ^to 
protest, in the manner of Athanasius, in a passage 
lat:Iy cited, against the notion that the substance of 
God is something distinct from God Himself, and not 
God viewed as self-existent, the one immaterial, intel- 
ligent, all-perfect Spirit ; but the risk of it lay in its 
tendency to destroy the doctrine of His individual 
and real existence (whicJi tiie Catholic use of substance 
symbolized), and to introduce in its stead the notion 
that a quality or mode of acting was the governing 
principle of nature ; in other words, Pantheism. This 
(s an error of which Origeii of course cannot be 
accused ; but it is in its measure chargeable on the 
Platonic Masters, and is countenanced even by their 
mode of speaking of the Supreme Being, as not sub- 
stantial, but above the notion of substance S," 

The controversy did not terminate in the subject of 
Theism, but was pursued by the heretical party into 
questions of Christian Theology, The Manichees con- 
sidered tlie Son and Spirit as necessary emanations 
from the Father ; erring, first, in their classing those 
Divine Persons with intelligences confessedly imper- 
fect and subservient ; next, in introducing a sort of 
materialism into their notion of the Deity. The 
Eclectics on the other hand, maintained, by a strong 
figure, that the Eternal Son originated from the 
Father at His own will ; meaning thereby, that the 
everlasting mystery, which constitutes tlie relation 
between Father and Son, has no physical or material 
conditions, and is such as becomes Him who is alto- 

vn-fpoixrtoc. Cudw. IntelJ. Syst. iv. % ij. Petar. vL. S, i H), itwl 


196 Variations in the [chap. n. 

gether Mind, and bound by no laws, but those estab- 
lished by His own perfection as a first cause. Thus 
lamblichus calls the Son self-begotten 9. 

The discussion seems hardly to have entered farther 
into the Ante-Nicene Church, than is implied in the 
above notice of it : though some suppose that Justin 
and others referred the divine gennesis or generatio7i to 
the will of God. However, it is easy to see that the 
ground was prepared for the introduction of a subtle 
and irreverent question, whenever the theologizing 
Sophists should choose to raise it Accordingly, it 
was one of the first and principal interrogations put to 
the Catholics by their Arian opponents, whether the 
generation of the Son was voluntary or not on the part 
of the Father ; their dilemma being, that Almighty 
God was subject to laws external to Himself, if it 
were not voluntary, and that, if on the other hand it 
was voluntary, the Son was in the number of things 
created. But of this more in the next Section. 

The Word as internal or external to the Father ; 
X0709 ivBidOero^ and Trpo<\>opiK6<;^ : — One theory there 
was, adopted by several of the early Fathers, which 
led them to speak of the Son's generation or birtli as 
resulting from the Father's will, and yet did not inter- 
fere with His consubstantiality. Of the two titles 
ascribed in Scripture to our Lord, that of the " Word'' 
expresses with peculiar force His co-eternity in the 
One Almighty Father. On the other hand, the title 

• avToyovo^;* [Vide Ath. Tr. vol. ii. p. 475.] 
> [Vide Ath. Tr. vol. ii. pp. 340-342.] 

i^iv^Ante-Nieene Theological Statcmmts.\<^'} 

"■?!!«" has more distinct reference to His derivation 
and tninistrative office, A distinction resembling this 
had already been applied by the Stoics to the Platonic 
Logos, which they represented under two aspects, the 
f^w'tfero! and ■jrpoipopiKo^, that is, the internal Thought 
Wd Purpose of God, and its external Manifestation, as 
ilin words spoken. The terms were received among 
Catholics ; the " Endiathetic " standing for the Word, 
3s hid from everlasting in the bosom of the Father, 
"'ailc the " Prophoric " was the Son sent forth into the 
"■orld, in apparent separation from God, with His 
'^^ther's name and attributes upon Him, and His 
^'^ther's will to perform 2, This contrast is acknow- 
ledged by Athanaaius, Gregory Nyssen, Cyril, and 
otlier Post-Nicene writers ; nor can it be confuted, 
I'^ing Scriptural in its doctrine, and merely expressed 
>^ philosophical language, found ready for the purpose. 
But further, this change of state in the Eternal Word, 
from repose to energetic manifestation, as it took 
place at the creation, was called by them a gcnnesis : 
and here too, no blame attaches to them, for the 
expression is used in Scripture in different senses, one 
of which appears to be the very signification which 
they put on it, the mission of the Word to make and 
govern all things. Such is the text in St. Paul, that 
He is '■ the image of the Invisible God, the First-bom 
of every creature;" such is His title in St. John as 
" the Beginning of the Creation of God -5." This 
getmesis or generation was called also the " going- 

1 98 Variations in the [chap. ii. 

forth," or "condescension," of the Son, which may 
Scriptural ly be ascribed to the will of the all-bountiful 
Father^. However, there were some early writers 
who seem to interpret the gennesis in this meaning 
exclusively, ascribing the title of " Son " to our Lord 
only after the date of His mission or economy, and 
considering that of the " Word'' as His peculiar appel- 
lation during the previous eternity 5. Nay, if we carry 
off their expressions hastily or perversely, as some 
theologians have done, we shall perhaps conclude that 
they conceived that God existed in One Person before 
the '' going'forthy' and then, if it may be said, by a 
change in His nature began to exist in a Second 
Person ; as if an attribute (the Internal Word, ** Endia- 
thctic^') had come into substantive being, as " Prop/io- 
rkr The Fathers, who have laid themselves open to 
this charge, are Athenagoras, Tatian, Theophilus, 
Hippolytus, and Novatian, as mentioned in the first 

Now that they did not mean what a superficial 
reader might lay to their charge, may be argued, first, 
from the parallel language of the Post-Nicenes, as 
mentioned above, whose orthodoxy no one questions. 
Next, from the extreme absurdity, not to speak of the 
impiety, of the doctrine imputed to them ; as if, with 
a more than Gnostic extravagance, they conceived 
that any change or extension could take place in that 
Individual Essence, which is without parts or passions, 

< 7r/)0cX€V(rts, ovyKara^Sttcrts, Bull, Defens. ill. 9. [Other writers 
support him in this view, as Maranus, in Just. Tryph. 61, and in his work 
Divin. Jes. Christ i, lib. iv. c. 6. Vide contr. Dissert. 3 and 4 iD 
the Author's "Theological Tracts."] 

* [Vide *♦ Theological Tracts," iil] 


)or that the divine generation could be an event In time, 
ifitead of being considered a mere expression of the 
kemal relation of the Father towards the Son**, 
■ideed, the very absurdity of the literal sense of the 
•ords, in whatever degree they so expressed them- 
Wves, was the mischief to be apprehended from them, 
flic reader, trying a rlictoiical description by too 
rigid a rule, would attempt to elicit sense by imputing 
a heresy, and would conclude that they meant by the 
External or Prophoric Word a created being, made in 
the beginning of all things as the visible emblem of 
the Internal or Endiathetic, and the instrument of 
God's purposes towards His creation. This Is in fact 
the Arian doctrine, which doubtless availed itself in its 
defence of the declarations of incautious piety ; or 
rather we have evidence of the fact, tliat it did so avail 
itself, in the letter of Anus to Alexander, and from the 
anathema of the Niccne Creed directed against such 
as said that " the Son was not before His getmesis." 

Lastly, the orthodoxy of the five writers in question 
is ascertained by a careful examination of the pas- 
sages, which give ground for the accusation. Two of 
these shall here be quoted without comment, Theo- 
philus then says, "God having His own Word in His 
womb, begat Him together with His Wisdom" (that 
is. His Spirit), " uttering them prior to tlie universe." 
" He had this Word as the Minister of His works, and 
did all things through Him. . . . The prophets were 
^^■ existence when the world was made ; but the 

KrL iL lip. 350 and loS.] 

200 Variations in the Statements, [chap. ii. 

Wisdom of God, which is in Him, and His Holy Word, 
who is ever present with Him 7." Elsewhere he 
speaks of " the Word, eternally seated in the heart of 
God^;" "for," he presently adds, "before anything 
was made, He possessed this Counseller, as being His 
mind and providence. And when He purposed to make 
all that He had deliberated on. He begat this Word 
as external to Him, being the First-bom antecedent 
to the whole creation ; not, however. Himself losing 
the Word " (that is, the Internal), " but begetting it, 
and yet everlastingly communing with it 9." 

In like manner Hippolytus in his answer to Noetus : 
— "God was alone, and there was no being coeval 

with Him, when He willed to create the world 

Not that He was destitute of reason (the Logos), 
wisdom or counsel. They are all in Him, He was all. 
At the time and in the manner He willed, He mani- 
fested His Word [Logos], . . through whom He made 
all things. . . Moreover He placed over them His 
Word, whom He begat as His Counseller and Instm- 
ment ; whom He had within Him, invisible to creation, 
till He manifested Him, uttering the Word, and 
begetting Light from Light. . . . And so Another 
stood by Him, not as if there were two Gods, but as 
though Light from Light, or a ray from the Sun ^" 

And thus closes our survey of Catholic Ante- 
Nicene theology. 

e)(ov . • o ^cos TQV cavrou Xoyov ivSiddeTov €V tols ISlou 
(nrXdyxyoLS, iyewrjcrev avTov fiera r^g iavTov aotjiias, i^epev^- 
aiJL€V09 (Psalm xlv. i), irpb tcov oXcov ... 6 ael av/JLTrapttiv aitrta, 

* Tov Xoyov BunravTog IvBulO^tov iv Kaphla O€ovr 

* iyhnrqcre irpo<f>opiK6v, 

* Vide Bull, Defens. iii. 7, 8. 



It remains to give some account of the heretical doc- 
trine, which was first promulgated within the Church 
by Arius, There have been attempts to attribute this 
heresy to Catholic writers previous to his time ; yet its 
contemporaries are express in their testimony that he 
was the author of it, nor can anything be adduced 
from the Ante-Nicene theology to countenance such 
an imputation. Sozomen expressly says, that Arius 
was the first to introduce into the Church the formula 
of the "out of nothing," and the " once He was not," 
that is, the creation and the non-eternity of the Son 
of God. Alexander and Athanasius, who had the 
amplest means of information on the subject, confirm 
his testimony •. That the heresy existed before his 
lime outside the Church, may be true, — though little 
is known on the subject ; and that there had been 
certain speculators, such as Faulus of Samosata, who 
were simply humanitarians, is undoubtedly true ; but 
they did not hold the formal doctrine of Arius, that an 
Angelic being had been exalted into a God. How- 

Soi. I. tj. Thcud. Hi9, i. i, Alhan. Deer. Ni'^ IT. ck SfnC. 
Dionjrs. 6- 

^L Sol 

^^M Dionjrs. 

202 The Arian Heresy. [cHiVP. ii. 

ever, he and his supporters, though they do not venture 
to adduce in their favour the evidence of former 
Catholics, nevertheless speak in a general way of their 
having received their doctrines from others. Arius 
too himself appears to be only a partisan of the 
Eusebians, and they in turn are referable to Lucian of 
Antioch, who for some cause or other was at one time 
under excommunication. But here we lose sight of 
the heresy ; except that Origen assails a doctrine, 
whose we know not 2, which bears a resemblance to 
it ; nay, if we may trust Ruffinus, which was expressed 
in the very same heterodox formulae, which Sozomen 
declares that Arius was the first to preach within the 


Before detailing, nowever, the separate character- 
istics of his heresy, it may be right briefly to confront 
it with such previous doctrines, in and out of the 
Church, as may be considered to bear a resemblance 
to it. 

The fundamental tenet of Arianism was, that the 
Son of God was a creature, not born of the Father, 
but, in the scientific language of the times, made "out 
of nothing 3 " It followed that He only possessed a 
super-angelic nature, being made at God's good 
pleasure before the worlds, before time, after the 
pattern of the attribute Logos or Wisdom, as existing 
in the Divine Mind, gifted with the illumination of it, 
and in consequence called after it the Word and the 

^ The rj[v ttotc orr^ ovk ^v ; it might beTertuUian who was aimect ait, 
especially as St. Dionysius of Rome denounces the doctrine also.} 
* e^ OVK ovTiw j hence the Arians were called EKucontii. 

^^cx. v.] The Arian Heresy. 203 

^^isdom, nay inheriting the title itself of God ; and at 
, ^gth united to a human body, in the place of its soul, 
^^ the person of Jesus Christ 

I • This doctrine resembled that of the five philoso- 

r^J^i^ing Fathers, as described in the foregoing Section, 

?^ far as this, that it identified the Son with the 

^^cternal or Prophoric Logos, spoke of the Divine 

^^gos Itself as if a mere internal attribute, and yet 

<ected to maintain a connexion between the Logos 

■"^d the Son. Their doctrine differed from it, inas- 

^^ Vich as they believed, that He who was the Son had 

-w^^r been in personal existence as the Logos in the 

Other's bosom, whereas Arianism dated His personal 

-^istence from the time of His manifestation. 

2. It resembled the Eclectic theology, so far as to 
aintain that the Son was by nature separate from 

>rid inferior to the Father ; and again, formed at the 
ather's will. It differed from Eclecticism, in con- 
sidering the Son to have a beginning of existence, 
^"^Vhereas the Platonists held Him, as they held the 
^^niverse, to be an eternal Emanation, and the Father's 
^^^ill to be a concomitant, not an antecedent, of His 

3. It agreed with the teaching of Gnostics and 
^^^lanichees, in maintaining the Son's essential infe- 
:^iority to the Father : it vehemently opposed them in 
"t;heir material notions of the Deity. 

4. It concurred with the disciples of Paulus, in 
considering the Intellectual and Ruling Principle in 

Christ, the Son of God, to be a mere creature, by 
nature subject to a moral probation, as other men, and 
exalted on the ground of His obedience, and gifted, 
moreover, with a heavenly wisdom, called the Logos, 

204 T/ie Avian Heresy. [chap. ii. 

which guided Him. The two heresies also agreed, as 
the last words imply, in holding the Logos to be an 
attribute or manifestation, not a Person 4. Paulus 
considered it as if a voice or sound, which comes and 
goes ; so that God may be said to have spoken in 
Christ. Arius makes use of the same illustration : 
" Many words speaketh God," he says, " which of 
them is manifested in the flesh 5 ? " He differs from 
Paulus, in holding the pre-existence of the spiritual 
intelligence in Christ, or the Son, whom he considers 
to be the first and only creation of the Father's 
Hand, superangelic, and the God of the Christiar 

5. Arianism agreed with the heresy of Sabellius, in 
teaching God to exist only in one Person, and His 
true Logos to be an attribute, manifested in the Son, 
who was a creature 6. It differed from Sabellianism, 
as regards the sense in which the Logos was to be 
accounted as existing in Christ. The Sabellian, 
lately a Patripassian, at least insisted much upon the 
formal and abiding presence of the Logos in Him. 
The Arian, only partially admitting the influence of 
the Divine Logos on that superangelic nature, which 
was the Son, and which in Christ took the place of a 
soul, nevertheless gave it the name of Logos, and 
maintained accordingly that the incarnate Logos was 
not the true Wisdom and Word of God, which was one 
with Him, but a created semblance of it. 

* [When the Eternal Word, after the Nicene Council, was defined to 
have a personal subsistence, then the Samosatene doctrine would become 
identical with Nestorianism. Both heresies came from Antioch.} 

* Athan. Decret. Nicen. 16. 

* Athan. Sent. Dionys. 25, 

pSECT. v.] The Arian Heresy. 


Such is Arianism in its relations to the prin- 
cipal errors of its time ; and of these it was most 
Opposed to the Gnostic and Sabellian, which, as we 
^hailsee, it did not scruple to impute to its Catholic 
adversaries. Towards the Catholics, on the other 
d, it stood thus : it was willing to ascribe to the 
n all that is commonly attributed to Almighty God, 
^'s name, authority, and power ; all but the incom- 
"•unicable nature or being (usia), that is, all but that 
"''lidi alone could give Him a right to these preroga- 
*'"^es of divinity in a real and literal sense. Now to 
^'^rn to the arguments by which the heresy defended 
'^Sclf, or rather, attacked the Church. 

ana I 

^1 adv. 

^P I. Anus commenced his heresy thus, as Socrates 
^*lforms us : — " (i) If the Father gave birth to the Son, 
He who was born has an origin of existence ; (2) there- 
fore once the Son was not; (3) therefore He is created 
out of nothing 7." It appears, then, that he inferred his 

' Socr. i. 5. That is, the Son, as such, (i) had QpX^i' tTap^EUH, 
(2) riv ore oSk V> iz) «^ "Sic ovTm ex« T^i- VTroorao-tv. 
The argument thus staled iti the history, aiiswois to the ftist three pro- 
powlionE snathematiied at Nicaa, which are as followa, the figures prefixed 
iTUjking Ihe correspondeacc of ea(^ with Aliases theses, as set dLmn by 
Socialts i—ravt Xxyovrai (2) on ^ jtote ore olk ^v, (i) Kai wp\y 
ymTj^fai ovk ^v, {3) kul on 1$ oIk oitiuv iyivfro, (4) rj 1$ 
iripa's vffoorao-tuis TJ ouct'as tin", 7] Kritrroi', {5) ^ Tpnrruv rj 
aXXotarrov toc uioc row Seou, dfnfle/iaTt'^ft ^ dyia KaSoXui^ 
tiatXtjtria. [The fourth of these propositions is the denial of thu 
d^oouiriov.] The last, viz. the mutability of the Son, was probably not 
one ofArius'a original propsiiions, but forced from him by his opponents 
31 a necessary consequence of his doctrine. He retracts it in his letters 
to Eusehius and Alexander, who, on the other hand, bear testimony to 
bii having avowccl it. 

2o6 The Arian Heresy. [chap. ii. 

doctrine from the very meaning of the word " Soul' 
which is the designation of our Lord in Scripture ; and 
so far he adopted a fair and unexceptionable mode of 
reasoning. Human relations, though the merest 
shadows of " heavenly things," yet would not of 
course be employed by Divine Wisdom without 
fitness, nor unless with the intention of instructing 
us. But what should be the exact instruction derived 
by us from the word " Son " is another question S. 
The Catholics (not to speak of their guidance from 
tradition in determining it) had taken " Son " in its 
most obvious meaning ; as interpreted moreover by 
the title " Only -begotten^' and as confirmed by the 
general tenor of Revelation. But the Arians selected 
as the sense of the figure, that part of the original 
import of the word, which, though undeniably included 
in it, when referred to us, is at best what logicians 
call a property deduced from the essence or nature, 
not an element of its essential idea, and which was 
especially out of place, when the word was used to 
express a truth about the Divine Being. That a 
father is prior to his son^ is not suggested, though it is 
implied, by the force of the terms, as ordinarily used ; 
and it is an inference altogether irrelevant, when the 
inquiry has reference to that Being, from our notion 
of whom time as well as space is necessarily excluded. 
It is fair, indeed, to object at the outset to the word 
" Father" being applied at all in its primary sense to 
the Supreme Being ; but this was not the Arian 
ground, which was to argue from, not against, the 

• " [Non recte faciunt, qui vim adhibent, ut sic se habcat exemplum, ut 
prototypum. Non enim esset jam exemplum, nisi haberet aliquid dis* 
simile" Leont. Contr. Nest. i. p. 539, ed. Canis.]) 

metaphor employed. Nor was even this the extent of 
perverseness which their argument evidences. Let it 
be observed, that they admitted the primary sense of 
the word, m order to introduce a mere secondary 
sense, contending that, because our I-ord was to be 
considered really as a Son, therefore in fact He was 
no Son at all. In the first proposition Arius assumes 
that He is really a Son, and argues as if He were ; in 
the third he has arrived at the conclusion that He was 
created, that is, no Son at all, except in a secondary 
sense, as having received from the Father a sort of 
adoptwH. An attempt was made by the Arians to 
smooth over their inconsistency, by adducing passages 
of Scripture, in which the works of God are spoken of 
as births,— as in the instance from Job, "He giveth 
birth to the drops of dew." But this is obviously an 
entirely new mode of defending their theory of a divine 
adoption, and does not relieve their original fault ; 
which consisted in their arguing from an assumed 
analogy, which the result of that argument destroyed. 
Tor, if He be the Son of God, no otherwise than man 
is, that is, by adoption, what becomes of the argument 
from the anterior and posterior in existence ^ t as if 
'the notion of adoption, contained in it any necessary 
reference to the nature and circumstances of the two 
parties between whom it takes place. 

2. Accordingly, the Arians were soon obliged to 
betake themselves to a more refined argument. They 
dropped the consideration of time, and withdrew the 
inference involving it, which they had drawn from the 
literal sense of the word " Son." Instead of this, they 
' [That 19, an adopted son is not necessarily youngri, but might b" 
ohkr, than the person adopting him,] 



The Anan Heresy. 

maintained that the relation of Father and Son, as 
such, in wliatever sense considered, could not b»ut 
imply the notion of voluntary originator, and on t:3ic 
other hand, of a free gift conferred ; and that the &«>n 
must be essentially inferior to Him, from whose v^-^ill 
His existence resulted. Their argument was convey-"^ «d 
in the form of a dilemma : — "Whether the Fatft-acr 
gave birth to the Son Tolais or nolens ? " TheCalBTO- 
lics wisely answered them by a counter inquc »y, 
which was adapted to silence, without countcnanci ng, 
the presumptuous disputant. Gregory of Nazian;^us 
asked tliem, " Whether the Father is God, volcns or 
iiokiis?" And Cyril of Alexandria, "Whether H^ i* 
good, compassionate, merciful, and holy, with o^ 
against His choice ? For, if He is so in conseqiienccr of 
choosing it, and choice ever precedes what is chQS.<:r>. 
these attributes once did not exist in God." Atha. x^-^- 
sius gives substantially the same answer, solvi «*£■ 
however, rather than confuting, the objection. "'M~ ^"^ 
Arians," he says, " direct their view to the (ro«/m</ri'/*-«^-'7 
of willing, instead of considering the more import^^*-"'^ 
and the previous question ; for, as wtwillingrtai 
opposed to willing, so is nature prior to willi 
leads the way to it '." 

3, Further : — the Arians attempted to draw tl 
conclusion as to the dissimilarity of the Father 
the Son, from the divine attribute of the " Ingentr^ ^t^* 
(unborn or increate), which, as I have already said, •^''^ 
acknowledged on all hands to be the peculiar attril»«-*'* 

■ vaaw. II. 5. f 9 ! VI. s. 14. p iicnciaiio nun pntc 
naturw." Ambros. Incarn. 79. 'H yirvrprK ifivfffwt 

KiiiTfi ^(XjJCTtius. Damasc- F. O. i, 8. p. ij.l.] 



SECT, v.] The Avian Heresy. 209 

of the Father, while it had been the philosophical as 
well as Valentinian appellation of the Supreme God. 
This was the chief resource of the Anomoeans, who re- 
vived the pure Arian heresy, some years after the 
<^eath of its first author. Their argument has been 
expressed in the following form : — t-iat " it is the 
essence of the Father to be ingeneratey and of the Son 
^o be generate ; but unborn and born cannot be the 
same 2." The shallowness, as well as the miserable 
trifling of such disputations on a serious subject, 
renders them unworthy of a refutation. 

4. Moreover, they argued against the Catholic sense 

^f the word " Son,' from what they conceived to be its 

'^^ctteriality ; and, unwarrantably contrasting its 

primary with its figurative signification, as if both 

^ould not be preserved, they contended that, since 

^h^ word must be figurative, therefore it could not 

^^tain its primary sense, but must be taken in the 

^^c^ondary sense of adoption, 

5. Their reasonings (so to call them) had now con- 
^^^cted them thus far: — to maintain that our Lord 
^^^-s a creature, advanced, after creation, to be a Son 
^^ God. They did not shrink from the inference 
^^^Viich these positions implied, viz. that He had been 
^'^t on trial as other moral agents, and adopted on 
^^ing found worthy ; that His holiness was not 
^^^sential, but acquired. 

6. It was next incumbent on them to explain in 
"^^^"hat sense our Lord was the " Only-begotten',' since 

*^l:iey refused to understand that title in the Catholic 
^ c^nse of the Homoiision or consnbstantial. Accordingly, 

• Bcausobrc, Hist. Mafi'clit il'u 7f ^ 

2IO The Avian Heresy. fcnAP. ii. 

while pronouncing the divine birth to be a kind of 
creation, or an adoption, they attempted to hide the 
offensiveness of the heretical doctrine by the variety 
and dignity of the prerogatives, by which they distin- 
guished the Son from other creatures. They declared 
that He was, strictly speaking, the only creature of 
God, as being alone made immediately by Him ; and 
hence He was called Only-begotten^ as "bom alone 
from Him alone 3," whereas all others were made 
through Him, as the instrument of Divine Power ; and 
that in consequence He was "a creature, but not as 
being one of the creatures, a birth or production, but 
not as being one of the produced ^ ;" that is, to express 
their sentiment with something of the same ambiguity, 
" He was not a creature like other creatures." An- 
other ambiguity of language followed. The idea of 
time depending on that of creation, they were able to 
grant that He, who was employed in forming all 
things, therefore brought time itself into being, and was 

. " before all time ; " not granting thereby that He was 
everlasting, but meaning that He was brought into 
existence " timelessly," independent of that succession 

. of second causes (as they are called), that elementary 
system, seemingly self-sustained and self-renovating, 
to the laws of which creation itself may be considered 
as subjected. 

7. Nor, lastly, had they any difficulty either in 
allowing or in explaining away the other attributes of 
divinity ascribed to Christ in Scripture. They might 

• Pearson on the Creed, vol. ii. p. 148. Suicer. Thes. verb, ftovoycn;?. 
KTUT^, aXK ov\ a>s €v Twv KTCor/jLaTiov yevvrjfia, aXX* ov;^ a>« 
€V Twv y€y€vvr)fiiv(i)v. 

^ECT. V.J The Aridn Heresy. ail 

safely confess Him to be perfect God, one with God, 
the object of worship, the author of g'ood ; still with 
(he reserve, that sacred appellations belonged to Him 
only in the same general sense in which they are 
sometimes accidentally bestowed on the faithful 
servants of God, and without interfering with the 
prerogatives of the One, Eternal, Self-existing Cause 
ofall things 5. 

This account of the Arian theology may be suitablj 
illustrated by some of the original documents of the 
controversy. Here, then, shall follow two letters of 
Arius himself, an extract from his Thalia, a letter of 
Eusebius of Nicomedia, and parts of the encyclical 
Epistle of Alexander of Alexandria, in justification 
of his excommunication of Arius and his followers ^. 

I. "To his most dear Lord, Eusebius, a man of 
God, faithful and orthodox, Arius, the man unjustly 
persecuted by tlie Pope Alexander for the all-con- 
quering truth's sake, of which thou too art a champion, 
sends health in the Lord. As Ammonius, my father, 
was going to Nicomedia, it seemed becoming to 
address this through him ; and withal to represent 
to that deep-seated affection which thou bearest 
towards the brethren for the sake of God and His 

* II may be added that the chief lexis, wliich (he Arians adduced in 
cou[rovei3y wcie, Pmv. viii. 21. Man. lii. i; j 11. jj. Maik >iii. 31. 
John V. 19 ; xiv. 2g. r Cor. xv. iS. Col. i. 15 ; and glheia which refci 
bt our Lord's metiiaturial offlc; (Pelav. ii. i, &c. Theod. Hist. i. 14). 
Bui it is obvious, that the strength uf iheir cause did uoc lie in ilie teil □( 


r. HisL i. 4—6. Socr. i. 6. Athan. 
Epiplian. Hci. Iiii. 6, 7. Hitat. Tiiii 

2 1 2 The Arian Heresy. [chap, ir- 

Christ, how fiercely the bishop assaults and drives us, 
leaving no means untried in his opposition. At lengtl:^ 
he has driven us out of the city, as men without God , 
for dissenting from his public declarations, that, ' A^ 
God is eternal, so is His Son: where the Father, there 
the Son ; the Son co-exists in God without a begin- 
ning (or birth) : ever generate, an ingenerately-gen- 
erate ; that neither in idea, nor by an instant of time, 
does God precede the Son ; an eternal God, an eternal 
Son ; the Son is from God Himself/ Since then, 
Euscbius, thy brother of C?esarea, Theodotus, Paulinus, 
&c. . . . and all the Bishops of the East declare that 
God exists without origin before the Son, they are 
made anathema by Alexander's sentence ; all but 
Philogonius, Hellanicus, and Macarius, heretical, ill- 
grounded men, who say, one that He is an utterance, 
another an offspring, another co-ingenerate. These 
blasphemies we cannot bear even to hear ; no, not if 
the heretics should threaten us with ten thousand 
deaths. What, on the other hand, are our statements 
and opinions, our past and present teaching } that the 
Son is not ingenerate, nor in any way a part of the 
Ingenerate, nor made of any subject-matter 7 ; but 
that, by the will and counsel of God, He subsisted 
before times and ages, perfect God, Only-begotten, 
unchangeable ; and that before this generation, or 

t The Greek of most of these scientific expressions has been given • 
of the rest it is as follows :— men without God, Q.Bkov%; without a 
beginning or birth, aycu/ijrws ; ever-generate, dcty €1/7/5; ingenerately- 
generate, ayewrfjoycvq^ ; an utterance, ipvyi^ (Psalm xlv. i); ofT- 
spring, 'n-pofioXrj; co ingenerate, avvaycwrjTov; of any subject- 
matter, i( xnroK€iiJL€i/ov tlvo*;. 

lAe ArioH Heresy. 2 1 3 

I, or determination, or establishment S, He was 
not, for He is not ingenerate. And we are persecuted 
for saying. The Son has an origin, but God is u 
nate; for this we are under persecution, and 
lying that He is out of nothing, inasmuch as He is 
"flier part of God, nor of any subject-matter, 
hcrefore we are persecuted ; the rest thou knowest 
Tpray that thou be strong in the Lord, remembering 
our afflictions, feilow-Lucianist, tnily named Euse- 


2. The second letter is written in the name of 
himself and his partisans of the Alexandrian Church ; 
who, finding themselves excommunicated, had with- 
drawn to Asia, where they had a field for prop^ating 
their opinions. It was composed under the direction 
of Eusebius of Nicomedia, and is far more temperate 
and cautious than the fonner. 

" To Alexander, our blessed Pope and Bishop, the 
Priests and Deacons send health in the Lord. Our 
hereditary faith, which thou too, blessed Pope, hast 
taught us, is this : — We believe in One God, alone in- 
generate, alone everlasting, alone unoriginate. alone 
truly God, alone immortal, alone wise, alone good, 
alone sovereign, alone judge of all, ordainer, and dis- 
penser, unchangeable and unalterable, just and good, 
of the Law and the Prophets, and of the New Co- 
\-enant We believe that this God gave birth to the 
Only-begotten Son before age-long times, through 
whom He has made those ages themselves, and all 
tilings else ; that Hegenerated Him, not in semblance^ 

These words are selected hjr Alius, a? bd 

:Heb. i. J. Rom. i. 4. Ptot. tiiI. ;i, ij.] 

. the pioiu, 01 rather, ihe onhodm.] 

ig found ia Scripiuiej 

214 T lie Arian Heresy^ [chap, li, 

but in truth, giving Him a real subsistence (or hypos^ 
tasis), at His own will, so as to be unchangeable and 
unalterable, God's perfect creature, but not as other 
creatures, His production, but not as other productions ; 
nor as Valentinus maintained, an offspring (probole) ; 
nor again, as Manichaeus, a consubstantial part ; nor, 
as Sabellius, a Son-Father, which is to make two out 
of one ; nor, as Hicracas, one torch from another, or a 
flame divided into two ; nor, as if He were previously 
in being, and afterwards generated or created again to 
-Jie a Son, a notion condemned by thyself, blessed 
Pope, in full Church and among the assembled 
Clergy ; but, as we affirm, created at the will of God 
before times and before ages, and having life and 
being from the Father, who gave subsistence as to 
Him, so to His glorious perfections. For, when the 
Father gave to Him the inheritance of all things, He 
did riot thereby deprive Himself of attributes, which 
are His ingenerately, who is the Source of all things. 

" So there are Three Subsistences (or Persons) ; 
and, whereas God is the Cause of all things, and 
therefore unoriginate simply by Himself, the Son on 
the other hand, born of the Father time-apart, and 
created and established before all periods, did not 
exist before He was born, but being born of the 
Father time-apart, was brought into substantive 
existence (subsistence). He alone by the Father alone. 
For He is not eternal, or co-eternal, or co-ingenerate 
with the Father ; nor hath an existence together with 
the Father, as if there were two ingenerate Origins ; but 
God is before all things, as being a Monad, and the 
Origin of all ; — and therefore before the Son also, as 
indeed we have learned from thee in thy public 




preaching'. Inasmuch then as it is from God that lie 
hath His being, and His glorious perfections, and His 
life, and His charge of all things, for this reason God 
is His Origin, as being His God and before Him. As 
to such phrases as ' from Him,' and ' from the womb,' 
and ' issued forth from the Father, and am come,' if 
they be understood, as they are by some, to denote a 
part of the consubstantial, and a probole (offspringj, 
then the Father will be of a compound nature, and 
divisible, and changeable, and corporeal ; and thus, 
as far as their words go, the incorporeal God will be 
subjected to the properties of matter. I pray for thy 
health in the Lord, blessed Pope'." 

3. About the same time Arius wrote his Thalia, or 
song for banquets and merry-makings, from which the 
following is extracted. He begins thus : — "According 
to the faith of God's elect, who know God, holy 
children, sound in their creed, gifted with the Holy 
Spirit of God, I have received these things from the 
partakers of wisdom, accomplished, taught of God, 
and altc^ethcr wise. Along their track I have pur- 
sued my course with like opinions, — I, the famous 
among men, the much-suffering for God's glory ; and, 
taught of God, I have gained wisdom and know- 
ledge." After this exordium, he proceeds to declare, 
"that God made the Son the origin (or beginning) of 

re age-]an|r pniods, ^pi ypwaso aimUa/i gi*ing Him a ttsA 
lOCf VKOvrifTarra. ; Sou-Faiher, vunroropa {Vide Aih. Tr. p, 
id p> S14. i aba Didym. de Triii. iii. 18} ; gave lubiiiuence. a* 
K) n> I tis glucious perfccDons, Ta« ho^tK UWvKtia 1 ^avrm 
Inre Snhsijtences, rpoi xnrotniatK ; born limc-apan. ^XP"^ 
itAk ; of a lorrpounil nalucc, irivdrTof. The w>U W which 
n ace Vs. ci. 3, and Jnhn i*i. i8. 

2i6 The Ariau- Heresy. [chap, 

creation, being Himself unoriginate, and adopt 
Him to be His Son ; who, on the other hand, has : 
property of divinity in His own Hypostasis, not bci^ 
equal, nor consubstantial with Him ; that God 
invisible, not only to the creatures created through t 
Son, but to the Son Himself; that there is a Trinii 
but not with an equal glory, the Hypostases beii 
incommunicable with each other, One infinitdy m« 
glorious than the other ; that the Father is foreign 
substance to the Son, as existing imoriginate; th 
by God's will the Son became Wisdom, Power, 
Spirit, the Truth, the Word, the Glory, and the Imaj 
of God ; that the Father, as being Almighty, is ab 
to give existence to a being equal to the Son, thoug 
not superior to Him ; that, from the time that He w. 
made, being a mighty God, He has hymned tl 
praises of His Superior; that He cannot investiga. 
His Father's nature, it being plain that the originati 
cannot comprehend the unoriginate ; nay, that 
does not know His own^." 

4. On t!ie receipt of tlie letter from Arius, which 
the first document here exhibited, Eusebius of Nice 
media addressed a letter to PauHnus of Tyre, of whic 
the following is an extract : — "We have neither hear 
of two Ingenerates, nor of One divided into twf^ sufc 
jected to any material affection ; but of One Ingent 
rate, and one generated by Him really ; not from Hi 
substance, not partaking of the nature of the Ingene 
rate at all, but made altogether other than He t 

• InooramunicaUe, ivnr^orroi, (this n in opposition to Ihe •V^t" 
/"JiTK, or CO- inherence) ; foccign la Eubstance (ivo^ •rar' oCmoM 

;"v»siiga(e. iiiyyiaa'tt. 

The Ariau heresy. 


I nature and in power, though made after the perftct 
f Kktness of the character and excellence of His Maker. 
, But, if He were of Him in the sense of 'from 
r Him,' as if a part of Him, or from the effluence of H is 
substance^, He would not be spoken of (in Scripture) 
as created or established . . . for what exists as being 
from the Ingenerate ceases to be created or estab- 
lished, as being from its origin ingenerate. But, if 
His being called generate suggests the idea that He 
is made out of tlie Father's substance, and lias from 
Him a sameness of nature, we know that not of Him 
alone does Scripture use the word ' generate,' but also 
of things altogether unlike the Father in nature. For 
it says of men, ' I have begotten sons and exalted 
them, and they have set Me at nought;' and, 'Thou 
hast left the God who begat thee ;' and in other 
instances, as 'Who has given birth to the drops of 
dew?' . . . Nothing is of His substance; but all 
things are made at His will." 

J. Alexander, in his public accusation of Arius and 
his party to Alexander of Constantinople, writes thus ; 
— " Tiiey say that once the Son of God waa not, 
and that He, who before had no existence, was at 
length made, made such, when He was made, an 
any other man is by nature. Numbering the Son 
of God among created things, they are but con- 
sistent in adding that He is of an alterable nature, 
capable of virtue and vice. . . . When it is urged on 
them that the Saviour differs from others, called eoni< 
of God, by the unchangeablcness of Hi« nature, 
stripping off all r^erence, they answer, that God, 

* Ccnct.iiEiI, yf/'n-i'n 

^-.u, i'. 

I ^i8 Tfte Arian Heresy. 


^^P foreknowing and foreseeing His obedience, chose Hire' 
^H out of all creatures ; chose Him, I say, not as possess- 
es ing aught by nature and prerogative above the other 
^H (since, as they say, there is no Son of God by nature)._ 
^H nor bearing any peculiar relation towards God ; but, a^S 
^H being, as well as others, of an alterable nature, antfS 
^H preserved from falling by the pursuit and exercise ofr^ 
^H virtuous conduct ; so that, if Paul or Peter had made — 

^H such strenuous progress, they would have gained a_ 

^H sonship equal to His." 

^H In another letter, which was addressed to the— 

^P Churches, ho says, "It is their doctrine, that 'God 
was not always a Father', that ' the Word of God has- 
not always existed, but was made out of nothing ; for~ 
the self-existing God made Him, who once was not. 
out oT what once was not. . . , Neither is He like the 
Father in substance, nor is He the true and natural 

s of the Father, nor His true Wisdom, but one of" 
His works and creatures ; and He is catachrestically 
the Word and Wisdom, inasmuch as He Himself was 
made by the proper Logos of God, and by that 
Wisdom which is in God, by which God made all 
things, and Him in the number. Hence He is 
mutable and alterable by nature, as other rational 
beings ; and He is foreign and external to God's sub- 
stance, being excluded from it. He was made for 
our sakes, in order that God might create us by Him 
as by an instrument ; and He would not have had 
subsistence, had not God willed our making.' Some 
one asked them, if the Word of God could change, as 
the devil changed ? They scrupled not to answer. 
'Certainly, He can*.'" 

* Like in substance, 5^a(os kut' niVoiv [This, as «c sh.ill sec aftw- 
warils. in the I lainntlsian, Ihe symbol orihc Kuscbiant or S^ml-VUna], 



; Arian Heresy, 

More than enough has now been said in explanation 
of a controversy, the very sound of which must be 
painful to any one who has a loving faith in the 
Divinity of the Son. Yet so it has been ordered, that 
He who was once lifted up to the gaze of the world, 
and hid not His face from contumely, has again been 
subjected to rude scrutiny and dishonour in the pro- 
mulgation of His religion to the world. And His 
true followers have been themselves obliged in His 
defence to raise and fix their eyes boldly on Him, as 
if He were one of themselves, dismissing the natural 
reverence, which would keep them ever at His feet. 
The subject may be dismissed with the following 
remarks : — 

1. First, it is obvious to notice the unscriptural 
character of the arguments on which the heresy wa; 
founded. It is true that the Arians did not neglect to 
support their case from such detached portions of the 
Inspired Volume as suited their purpose ; but still it 
. never be said that they showed that earnest desire 
of sacred truth, and careful search into its documents, 
' which alone mark the Christian inquirer. The ques- 
tion is not merely whether they confined themselves 
t to the language of Scripture, but \vhether they began 
I'with the study of it. Doubtless, to forbid in contro- 
[ versy the use of all words but those which actually 
I occur in Scripture, is a superstition, an encroachment 
[ on Scripture liberty, and an impediment to freedom 

muublc and ali;r,ible, t/iititos kui dXAotun'os; excluded, A.^T(tI)^otv^'T• 

220 The Arian Heresy. [chap, ii, 

of thought ; and especially unreasonable, considering 
that a traditional system of theology, consistent with, 
but independent of. Scripture, has existed in the 
Church from the Apostolic age. "Why art thou in 
that excessive slavery to the letter," says Gregory 
Nazianzen, "and employest a Judaical wisdom, dwel- 
ling upon syllables, while letting slip realities ? 
Suppose, on thy saying twice five, or twice seven, 1 
were to understand thence ten or fourteen ; or, if I 
spoke of a man, when thou hadst named an animal 
rational and mortal, should I in that case appear to 
thee to trifle? How could I so appear, in merely 
expressing your own meaning 5 ? " But, inasmuch as 
this liberty was an evangelical privilege, which might 
be allowed to the Arian disputants, on the other hand 
it was a dangerous privilege also, ever to be subjected 
to a profound respect for the sacred text, a cautious 
adherence to the whole of the doctrine therein con- 
tained, and a regard also for those received statements, 
which, though not given to us as inspired, probably 
are derived from inspired teachers. Now the most 
liberal admission which can be made in behalf of the 
Arians, is, to grant that they did not in controversy 
throw aside the authority of Scripture altogether; 
that is, proclaim themselves unbelievers ; for it is 
evident that they took only just so much of it as 
would afford them a basis for erecting their system of 
heresy by an abstract logical process. The mere 

. * Petav. iv. 5, § 6. [Athanasius ever exalts the theological sense over 
the words, whether sacred or ecclesiastical, which are its vehicle, and this 
evHsn to the apparent withholding of the symbol o/Jioov(nov, Vide OraL 
ii. 3, and Ath. Tr. vol. i., notes pp. 163, 212, 214, 231, &c] 


The Ainan Heresy. 

words "Father and Son," "birth,' 

orighi," &c., were 
all that they postulated of revealed authority for their 
ailment ; they professed to do all the rest for them- 
selves. The meaning of these terms in their context, 
the illustration which they afford to each other, and, 
much more, the divine doctrine considered as one 
undivided message, variously exhibited and dispersed 
the various parts of Scripture, were excluded from 
E consideration of controversialists, who thought 
lat truth was gained by disputing instead of investi- 

2. Next, it will be observed that, throughout their 
discussions, they assumed as an axiom, that there 
could be no mystery in the Scripture doctrine respect- 
ing the nature of God. In this, indeed, they did but 
follow the example of the contemporary spurious 
theologies ; though their abstract mode of reasoning 
from the mere force of one or two Scripture terms, 
necessarily forced them more than other heretics into 
the use and avowal of the principle. The SabclHan, 
to avoid mystery, denied the distinction of Persons in 
the Divine Nature. Faulus, and afterwards Apoliina- 
ris, for the same reason, denied the existence of two 
Intelligent Principles at once, the Word and the 
human soul, in the Person of Christ. 7"he Arians 
adopted both errors. Yet what is a mystery in 
doctrine, but a difficulty or inconsistency in the intel- 
lectual expression of it ? And what reason is there 
for supposing, that Revelation addresses itself to the 
intellect, except so far as intellect is necessary for con- 
veying and fixing its truths on the heart ? Why are 
we not content to take and use what is given us, with- 
out asking questions ? The Catholics, on the other 

^^ we not 

222 The Arian Heresy. [chap. ii. 

hand, pursued the intellectual investigation of the 
doctrine, under the guidance of Scripture and Tra- 
dition, merely as far as some immediate necessity 
called for it ; and cared little, though one mode of 
expression seemed inconsistent with another. Thus, 
they developed the notion of *' stcbstance " against the 
Pantheists, of the '^Hypostatic Word'' against the 
Sabellians, of the " Internal Word " to meet the 
imputation of Ditheism ; still they did not use these 
formulae for any thing beyond shadows of sacred truth, 
symbols witnessing against the speculations into 
which the unbridled intellect fell. 

Accordingly, they were for a time inconsistent with 
each other in the minor particulars of their doctrinal 
statements, being far more bent on opposing error, 
than on forming a theology : — inconsistent, that is, 
before the experience of controversy and the voice of 
tradition had detached them from less accurate or 
advisable expressions, and made them correct, or at 
least compare and adjust their several declarations. 
Thus, some said that there was but one hypostasis^ 
meaning substance^ in God ; others three hypostases, 
meaning Subsistences or Persons ; and some spoke of 
one usia^ meaning substance, while others spoke of 
more than one ttsia. Some allowed, some rejected, 
the terms probole and homoilsion, according as they 
were guided by the prevailing heresy of the day, and 
by their own judgment how best to meet it. Some 
spoke of the Son as existing from everlasting in the 
Divine Mind; others impHed that the Logos was 
everlasting, and became the Son in time. Some 
asserted that He was unoriginate, others denied it. 
Some, when interrogated by heretics, taught that He 

SKT. v.] Tke- drian Heresy. ii-i^ 

was bom of the Father at the Father's will ; others, 

from His nature, not His will ; others, neither with 

His willing nor not willing^. Some declared that 

God was in number Three ; others, that He was 

"Umerically One ; while to others it perhaps appeared 

"lore philosophical to exclude the idea of number 

altogether, in discussions about that Mysterious 

Nature, which is beyond comparison with itself, 

^^'hether viewed as Three or One, and neither falls 

^nder nor involves any conceivable species^. 

In all these various statements, the object is clear 
a-nd unexceptionable, being merely that of protesting 
^tid practically guarding against dangerous deductions 
from the Scripture doctrine ; and the problem implied 
in ail of them is, to determine how this end may best 
be effected. There are no signs of an intellectual 
Curiosity in the tenor of these Catholic expositions, 
prying into things not seen as yet ; nor of an ambition 
to acccunt for the representations of the truth given 
us in the sacred writings. But such a temper is the 
very characteristic of the Arian disputants. They 
insisted on taking the terms of Scripture and of the 
urch for more than they signified, and expected 
;ir opponents to admit inferences altogether foreign 
the theological sense in which they were really 
used. Hence, they sometimes accused the orthodox 
of heresy, sometimes of self-contradiction. The 
Fathers of the Church have come down to us 
loaded with the imputation of the strangest errors, 
merely because they united trutJis, which heresies only 


• ji."i»,T,ni 

224 The A rian Heresy. [chai». ll. 

shared among themselves ; nor have writers been 
wanting in modern times, from malevolence or care- 
lessness, to aggravate these charges. The mystery of 
their creed has been converted into an evidence of 
concurrent heresies. To believe in the actual Incar- 
nation of the Eternal Wisdom, has been treated, not 
as orthodoxy, but as an Ariano-Sabellianism^. To 
believe that the Son of God was the Logos, was 
Sabellianism ; to believe that the pre-existent Logos 
was the Son of God, was Valentinianism. Gregory of 
Neo-Caesarea was called a Sabellian, because he spoke 
of one substance in the Divine Nature ; he was called 
a forerunner of Arius, because he said that Christ was 
a creature. Origen, so frequently accused of Arianism, 
seemed to be a Sabellian, when he said that the Son 
was the Auto-aletheia, the Archetypal Truth. Athen- 
agoras is charged with Sabellianism by the very writer 
(Petau), whose general theory it is that he was one of 
those Platonizing Fathers who anticipated Arius 9. 
Alexander, who at the opening of the controversy, 
was accused by Arius of Sabellianizing, has in these 
latter times been detected by the flippant Jortin to be 
an advocate of Semi-Arianism i, which was the peculiar 
enemy and assailant of Sabellianism in all its forms. 
The celebrated word, komousiony has not escaped a 
similar contrariety of charges. Arius himself ascribes 
it to the Manichees ; the Semi-Arians at Ancyra 
anathematize it, as Sabellian. It is in the same spirit 

* [" Eorum error veritati testimonium dicit, ct in consona perfidorum 
sententia in unum rcctc fidei moduIn»r conclnuut." Vigil. Thaps. contr. 
Eut. ii. init.] 

® Bull, Defcns. iii. 5. § 4. 

* Jortin. Fccles. 'V*^^- vol. ii. pp. 179, i8o« " ^ 


Tfu Arian Here^. 

that Arius, in his letter to Eu^ebius, scoffs at the 
"eternal birth," and the "ingcnerate generation," as 
ascribed to the Son in the orthodox theology; as if 
the inconsistency, which the words involved, when 
'aken in their full sense, were a suflicicnt refutation of 
ifie heavenly truth, of which they are, each in its 
place, the partial and relative expression. 

The Catholics sustained these charges with a 
prudence, which has (humanly speaking) secured 
"^e success of their cause, though it has availed little 
'•^ remove the calumnies heaped upon themselves, 
* tie great Dionysius, who has himself been defamed 
"i>^ the "accuser of the brethren," declares perspicu- 
"-^Msly the principle of the orthodox teaching. "The 
P^^rticular expressions which I have used," he says, in 
•^»s defence, "cannot be taken separate from each 
'-^ther .... whereas my opponents have taken two 
t>ald words of mine, and sling them at me from a 
"iistance ; not understanding, that, in the case of 
Subjects, partially known, illustrations foreign to them 
in nature, nay, inconsistent with each other, aid the 
inquiry *." 

However, the Catholics of course considered it a 

duty to remove, as far as thoy could, their own verbal 

inconsistencies, and to sanction one form of expression, 

i orthodox in each case, among the many which 

night be adopted. Hence distinctions were made 

^between the mtborn and unmade, origin and came, as 

falready noticed. But these, clear and intelligible as 

they were in themselves, and valuable, both as facili- 

fttating the argument and disabusing the perplexed 

r inquirer, opened to the heretical party the opportunity 

' Aihan. de Stm, Dionya. iS. 

226 The Avian Heresy. [chap. ii. 

of a new misrepresentation. Whenever the orthodox 
writers showed an anxiety to reconcile and discrimi- 
nate their own expressions, the charge of Manicheism 
was urged against them ; as if to dwell upon, were to 
rest in the material images which were the signs of the 
unknown truths. Thus the phrase, " Light of Light," 
the orthodox and almost apostolic emblem of the 
derivation of the Son from the Father, as symbolizing 
Their inseparability, mutual relation, and the separate 
fulness and exact parallelism and unity of Their 
perfections, was interpreted by the gross conceptions 
of the Manicha^an Hieracas^. 

3. When in answer to such objections the Catholics 
denied that they attached other than a figurative 
meaning to their words, their opponents suddenly 
turned round, and professed the figurative meaning of 
the terms to be that which they themselves advocated. 
This inconsistency in their mode of conducting the 
argument deserves notice. It has already been in- 
stanced in the original argument of Arius, who main- 
tained, that, since the word Son in its literal sense 
included among other ideas that of a beginning of 
being, the Son of God had had a beginning or was 

^ The €K ©cou was treated thus i ct yap Ik 0€oO ctrrt, kqX 
l-ykwfidfv ii avTOV 6 0€os, w? elirelvy ii 28tas I'Trocracrccos 
(pvacL rj €K Trjs totas ovtrtas, ovkovv (JryKiaurjy 7] rofirjv cOccaro rj 
iv T<3 ycvvav iwXarvvOrj, 17 cruvearrdkTjf rj tl twv Kara to. TrdOrf to. 
{TW/xaTLKa inriarrj* Epiph.Haer.lxix. 15. Or, to take the Objection 
made at Nicaea to the ofLOOvaLOV by Eusebius and some others : iirel 
yap c<^(rav ofioovaiov ctvat, o ck tivos €OTtv, rj Kara fiepicrfiov, rj 
Kara peutrtv, rj Kara 'n-pofioXrjv' Kara Trpo/SoX-qv fiev, <us €K pi^tov 
pXdoTrjfia, Kara SI ptva-iv, a>s ol irarpLKoi 7rat8c9, Kara /JL€pur/wv 
8c, 0)5 ^dyXou •xpycCScs Svo rj rptW kot ovBkv Sk TOVTitsv &mv 
o Ytosi 8ta TOVTO ov av^KarariO^arOai ttj ttlotcl V<,€yov, Socr. i. 8. 

SECT. V.J I fie Arian Heresy. 327 

created, and therefore was not really a Son of God at 

all. It was on accountof such unscrupulous dexterity 

in the controversy, that Alexander and Athanasius 

give them the title of chameleons. " They arc as 

Variable and uncertain in their opinions," (says the 

latter,} " as chameleons in tlieir colour. When refuted, 

tey look confused, and when examined they are 

perplexed ; however, at length they recover their 

assurance, and bring forward some evasion. Then, if 

^JS in turn is exposed, they do not rest till they have 

devised some new absurdity, and, as Scripture says, 

f^editate vain things, so that they may secure the 

P'"ivilege of being profane V 

let us, however, pursue the Arians on their new 
S*"*Dund of allegory. It has been already observed, 
■lat they explain the word Only-begotlen in the sense 
^f" only-created: and considered the oneness of the 
^ther and Son to consist in an unity of character 
^*~ld will, such as exists between God and His Saints, 
^^3t in nature. 

Now, surely, the temper of mind, which had re- 
^-^urse to such a comparison between Christ and us, to 
^-* efend a heresy, was still more odious, if possible, 
^lian the original impiety of the heresy itself. Thus, 
'^he honours graciously bestowed upon human nature, 
^s well as the condescending self-abasement of our 
"l,ord, were made to subsei-ve the cause of the blas- 
phemer. It is a known peculiarity of the message of 
mercy, that it views the Church of Christ as if clothed 
with, or hidden within, the glory of Him who ran- 
somed it; so that there is no name or title belonging 
to Him literally, which is not in a secondary sense 
• Atliin. de Deer- Nic. i. Socr. i 6. [Vide Aih. Tr. vd. i!. p. 7'-1 
Q 2 

2 28 The A r tan Heresy. [chap. ii. 

applied to the reconciled penitent. As our Lord is 
the Priest and King of His redeemed, they, as 
members of Him, are accounted kings and priests 
also. They are said to be Christs, or the anointed, to 
partake of the Divine Nature, to be the well-beloved of 
God, His sons, one with Him, and heirs of glory ; in 
order to express the fulness and the transcendent 
excellence of the blessings gained to the Saints by 
Christ. In all these forms of speech, no religious 
mind runs the risk of confusing its own privileges 
with the real prerogatives of Him who gave them ; 
yet it is obviously difficult in argument to discriminate 
between the primary and secondary use of the words, 
and to elicit and exhibit the delicate reasons lying in 
the context of Scripture for conclusions, which the 
common sense of a Christian is impatient as well as 
shocked to hear disputed. Who would so trifle with 
words, to take a parallel case, as to argue that, because 
Christians are said by St. John to " know all things," 
that therefore God is not omniscient in a sense 
infinitely above man's highest intelligence } 

It may be observed, moreover, that the Arians were 
inconsistent in their application of the allegorical rule, 
by which they attempted to interpret Scripture ; and 
showed as great deficiency in their philosophical con- 
ceptions of God, as in their practical devotion to Him. 
They seem to have fancied that some of His acts were 
more comprehensible than others, and might accord- 
ingly be made the basis on which the rest might be 
interpreted. They referred the divine gennesis or gen- 
eration to the notion of creation ; but creation is in 
fact as mysterious as the divine gennesis ; that is, we 
are as little able to understand our own words, when 

' SECT, v.] The Avian Heresy. 229 

We speak of the world's being brought out of 
nothing at God's word, as when we confess that His 
Eternal Perfections are reiterated, without being 
•doubled, in the person of His Son. " How is it," asks 
Athanasius, " that the impious men dare to speak 
flippantly on subjects too sacred to approach, mortals 
3s the/ are, and incapable of explaining even God's ' 
Works upon earth .' Why do I say, His earthly works ? 
■f-et them treat of themselves, if so be they can investi- 
gate their own nature ; yet venturous and self-confi- 
•^ent, they tremble not before the glory of God, which 
■'•-Hgels are fain reverently to look into, though iu 
"^ture and rank far more excellent than thcyS," 
■Accordingly, he argues that nothing is gained by 
''^solving one of the divine operations into another ; 
*^at to make, when attributed to God, is essentially 
^istlnct from the same act when ascribed to man, as 
* '•^comprehensible as to give birth or beget 6; and 
^^^iiscquently that it is our highest wisdom to take the 
^ ruths of Scripture as we find them there, and use 
^"hcm for the purposes for which they are vouchsafed, 
~Vrithout proceeding accurately to systematize them or 
■%o explain them away. Far from elucidating, we are 
evidently enfeebling the revealed doctrine, by substi- 
tuting ottly-created for only-begotten ; for if the words 
are synonymous, why should the latter be insisted on 
in Scripture .' Accordingly, it is proper to make a 
distinction between the primary and the literal 
meaning of a term. All the terms which human 
language applies to the Supreme Being, may perhaps 

* Athan. oa Mau. li. :2. { 6. 

• Athan. At Deer. Nic- ii; vlric al^o Gicg, Naz, Oiai. 35, jj, 56(1. 
Eoseb. Ecd. Thcol, i. 11. 

230 The Arian Heresy. [chap. 11. 

be more or less figurative; but their primary and 
secondary meaning may still remain as distinct, as 
when they are referred to earthly objects. We need 
not give up the primary meaning of the word Son as 
opposed to the secondary sense of adoption, because 
we forbear to use it in its literal and material sense. 

4. This being the general character of the Arian 
reasonings, it is natural to inquire what was the object 
towards which they tended. Now it will be found, 
that this audacious and elaborate sophistry could not 
escape one of two conclusions : — the establishment 
either of a sort of ditheism, or, as the more practical 
alternative, of a mere humanitarianism as regards our 
Lord ; either a heresy tending to paganism, or the 
virtual atheism of philosophy. If the professions of 
the Arians are to be believed, they confessed our 
Lord to be God, God in all respects 7, full and perfect, 
yet at the same time to be infinitely distant from the 
perfections of the One Eternal Cause. Here at once 
they are committed to a ditheism ; but Athanasius 
drives them on to the extreme of polytheism. " If," 
he says, " the Son were an object of worship for 
His transcendent glory, then every subordinate being 
is bound to worship his superior^." But so repulsive 
is the notion of a secondary God both to reason, and 
much more to Christianity, that the real tendency of 
Arianism lay towards the sole remaining alternative, 
the humanitarian doctrine. — Its essential agreement 
with the heresy of Paulus has already been incidentally 
shown ; it differed from it only when the pressure of 
controversy required it Its history is the proof of 

• Cudw. Intell. Syst. 4. $ 36. Petav. ii. 12. § 6,. 

y. 231 

lliis. It started with a boldness not inferior to that 
ofPaulus ; butas soon as it was attacked, it suddenly 
coiled itself into a defensive posture, and plunged 
amid the thickets of verbal controversy. At first it 
liadnot scrupled to admit the peccable nature of the 
Son ; but it soon learned to disguise such conse- 
quences of its doctrine, and avowed that, in matter of 
^3ct, He was indefectible. Next it borrowed the 
'inguage of Flatonisra, which, without committing it 
any real renunciation of its former declarations, 
*^ ciitted of the dress of a high and almost enthusiastic 
Piety. Then it professed an entire agreement with the 
Catholics, except as to the adoption of the single 
^^'rjrd consubstantial, which they urged upon it; and 
^-'^ncerning which, it affected to entertain conscientious 
^<^ruples. At this time it was ready to confess that 
*^tir Lord was the true God, God of God, bom timc- 
^^part, or before all time, and not a creature as other 
*^rcatures, but peculiarly the Son of God, and His 
«^ccurate Image. Afterwards, changing its ground, it 
protested, as we shall see, against non-scriptural 
expressions, of which itself had been the chief in- 
A-entor ; and proposed an union of all opinions, on 
the comprehensive basis of a creed, in which the Son 
should be merely declared to be " in all tilings like the 
Fai/te)'" or simply "like Him" This versatility of 
profession is an illustration of the character given of 
the Arians by Aihanasius, some pages back, which is 
further exemplified in their conduct at the Council in 
which they were condemned ; but it is here adduced 
to show the danger to which the Church was exposed 

C party who had no fixed tenet, except that of 
ion to the true notion of Cluists divinity ; and 

232 The Arian Heresy. [chap, il 

whose teaching, accordingly, had no firm footing of 
internal consistency to rest upon, till it descended to 
the notion of His simple humanity, that is, to the 
doctrine of Artemas and Paulus, though they too, as 
well as Arius, had enveloped their impieties in such 
admissions and professions, as assimilated it more or 
less in appearance to the Faith of the Catholic 

The conduct of the Arians at Nicaea, as referred to, 
was as follows. " When the Bishops in Council 
assembled," says Athanasius, an eye-witness, " were 
desirous of ridding the Church of the impious expres- 
sions invented by Arius, * the Son is otit of nothing,^ 
* is a creature^ * once was not* ' of an alterable nature^ 
and perpetuating those which we receive on the 
authority of Scripture, that the Son is the Only- 
begotten of God by nature, the Word, Power, the sole 
Wisdom of the Father, very God, as the Apostle 
John says, and as Paul, the Radiance of His glory, 
and the express Image of His Person ; the Eusebians, 
influenced by their own heterodoxy, said one to 
another, * Let us agree to this ; for we too are of God, 

there being one God, of whom are all things.' 

The Bishops, however, discerning their cunning, and 
the artifice adopted by their impiety, in order to 
express more clearly the * of Gody wrote down * of 
God's substance^ creatures being said to be * of God,* 
as not existing of themselves without cause, but 
having an origin of their production ; but the Son being 
peculiarly of the substance of the Father. . . . Again, 
on the Bishops asking the few advocates of Arianism 
present, whether they allowed the Son to be, not a 
creature, but the sole Power, Wisdom, and Image, 


The Arian Heresy. 


Eternal and in all respects', of the Fat!icr, and vciy 

God, the followers of Eusebius were detected making 

signs to each other, to express that this also could be 

applied to ourselves. 'For we too,' they said, 'arc 

called in Scripture the image and glory of God ; we 

arc said to live always . , . There are many powers ; 

fie locust .'s called in Scripture "a great power." 

f^'ay, that we are God's own sons, is proved expressly 

'"'"om the text, in which the Son calls us brethren. 

^or does their assertion, that He is very (true) God, 

; He is very God, because He was made 

^ucV This was the unprincipled meaning of the 

■'^Hans, But here too the Bishops, seeing through 

"*eir deceit, brought together from Scripture, the 

'Reliance, source and stream, express Image of Person, 

■f » Thy Light we shall see light,' 'I and the Father 

**"c one,' and last of all, expressed themselves more 

^^■arly and concisely, in the phrase ' consubstantial 

'ith the Father;' for all that was beforcsaid has this 

caning. As to their complaint about 


t*lirases, they themselves are evidence of its futility. 

,r^ ^ was they who began with their impious expressions ; 

^^r, after their 'Out of nothing,' and 'Once was not," 

^^oing beyond Scripture in order to be impious, now 

^Tiey make it a grievance, that, in condemning litem, 

'^Ae go beyond Scripture, in order to be pious'." The 

* ast remark is important ; even those traditional statc- 

*ncnts of the Catholic doctrine, which were more 

explicit than Scripture, had not as yet, when the 

controversy began, taken the shape of formula;. It 

rTfas the Arian defined propositions of the "out c/ 

' Athan. Ep. aJ .\ii' 

... S. 6. 

334 '^^'■'^ Arian Heresy. [chap. n. 

nothing" and the like, which called for the imposition 
of the " consitbstantial" 

It has sometimes been said, that the Catholics 
anxiously searched for some offensive test, which 
might operate to the exclusion of the Arians. This is 
not correct, inasmuch as they have no need to search; 
the "from God's substance " having been openly 
denied by the Arians, five years before the Council, 
and no practical distinction between it and the consub- 
stantial existing, till the era of Basil and his Semi- 
Arians. Yet, had it been necessary, doubtless it 
would have been their duty to seek for a test of this 
nature ; nay, to urge upon the heretical teachers the 
plain consequences of their doctrine, and to drive 
them into the adoption of them. These consequences 
are certain of being elicited in the long-run ; and it is 
but equitable to anticipate them in the persons of the 
heresiarclis, rather than to suffer them gradually to 
unfold and spread far and wide after their day, sap- 
ping the faith of their deluded and less guilty followers. 
Many a man would be deterred from outstepping the 
truth, could he see the end of his course from the 
beginning. The Arians felt this, and therefore resisted 
a detection, which would at once expose them to t 
condemnation of all serious men. In this lies the 
difference between the treatment due to an individual 
in heresy, and to one who is confident enough to 
publish the innovations which he has originated. The 
former claims from us the most affectionate sympathy, 
and the most considerate attention. The latter should 
meet with no mercy ; he assumes the office of the 
Tempter, and, so far forth as his error goes, must be 
dealt with by the competent authority, as if he i 

SECT, v.] The Arian Heresy. 235 

embodied Evil. To spare him is a false and dangerous 
pity. It is to endanger the souls of thousands, and it 
is uncharitable towards himself. 





The authentic account of the proceedings of the 
Nicene Council is not extant'. It has in consequence 
been judged expedient to put together in the fore- 
going Chapter whatever was necessary for the ex- 
planation of the Catholic and Arian creeds, and the 
controversy concerning them, rather than to reserve 
any portion of the doctrinal discussion for the present, 
though in some respects the more appropriate place 
for its introduction. Here then the transactions at 
Nicaea shall be reviewed in their political or ecclesias- 
tical aspect 

^ Vide Ittigius, Hist. Cone. Nic. ( i. The rest of this volume is 
drawn up from the following authorities : Eusebius, Vit. Const. Socrates, 
Sozomen, and Theodoret, Hist. Eccles., the various historical tracts of 
Athanasius, Epiphanius Hsr. Ixix. Ixxiii., and the Acta Conciliorum. 
Of modems, especially Tillemont and Petavius; then, Maimbourg's 
History of Arianism, the Benedictine Life of Athanasius, Cave's Life of 
Athanasius and Literary History, Gibbon*s Roman History and Mr. 
Bridges* Reign of Constantino. 

History of tJie Nicene Council. 

Arius first published his heresy about the year 319. 
With his turbulent conduct in 306 and a few years 
later we are not here concerned. After this date, in 
3' 3, he is said, on the death of Achillas, to have 
aspired to the primacy of the Egyptian Church ; and, 
according to Philostorgius ^, the historian of his party, 
3 "Writer of little credit, to have generously resigned 
"is claims in favour of Alexander, who was elected. 
*! is ambitious character renders it not improbable that 
"^ was a candidate for the vacant dignity ; but, if so, 
"^<^ difference of age between himself and Alexander, 
^liich must have been considerable, would at once 
*^count for the elevation of the latter, and be an 
'^^'"idence of the indecency of Arius in becoming a 
^'^mpctitor at all. His first attack on the Catholic 
_^^ctrine was conducted with an openness which, con- 
, *tdering the general duplicity of his party, is the most 
^ incurable trait in his character. In a public meeting 
^ I" the clergy of Alexandria, he accused his diocesan 
^^T Sabellianism ; an insult which Alexander, from 
'"Reference to the talents and learning of the objector, 
Sustained with somewhat too little of the dignity 
•befitting "the ruler of the people." The mischief 
Xvliich ensued from his misplaced meekness was con- 
siderable. Arius was one of the public preachers of 
Alexandria ; and, as some suppose, Master of the 
Catechetical School. Others of the city Presbyters 
"were stimulated by his example to similar irregu- 
larities. Colluthus, Carponas, and Sarmatas began to 
form each his own party in a Church which Mclctiua 

238 History of the Nicene Council, [chap. hi. 

had already troubled ; and Colluthus went so far as to 
promulgate an heretical doctrine, and to found a sect 
Still hoping to settle these disorders without the 
exercise of his episcopal power, Alexander summoned 
a meeting of his clergy, in which Arius was allowed 
to state his doctrines freely, and tp argue in their 
defence ; and, whether from a desire not to over- 
bear the discussion, or from distrust in his own power 
of accurately expressing the truth, and anxiety about 
the charge of heresy brought against himself, the 
Primate, though in no wise a man of feeble mind, is 
said to have refrained from committing himself on the 
controverted subject, "applauding," as Sozomen tells 
us, " sometimes the one party, sometimes the other^ " 
At length the error of Arius appeared to be of so 
serious and confirmed a nature, that countenance of it 
would have been sinful. It began to spread beyond 
the Alexandrian Church ; the indecision of Alexander 
excited the murmurs of the Catholics ; till, called 
unwillingly to the discharge of a severe duty, he gave 
public evidence of his real indignation against the 
blasphemies which he had so long endured, by excom- 
municating Arius with his followers. 

This proceeding, obligatory as it was on a Christian 
Bishop, and ratified by the concurrence of a provincial 
Council, and expedient even for the immediate in- 
terests of Christianity, had other Churches been 
equally honest in their allegiance to the true faith, 
had the effect of increasing the influence of Arius, by 
throwing him upon his fellow-Lucianists of the rival 
dioceses of the East, and giving notoriety to his name 
and tenets. In Egypt, indeed, he had already been sup- 

* Soz. i. 14* 

SBCT, l] History of the Nicene Council. 239 

ported by the Meletian faction ; which, in spite of its 
profession of orthodoxy, continued in alliance with 
liiin, through jealousy of the Church, even after he 
liad fallen into heresy. But the countenance of these 
schismatics was of small consideration, compared with 
'he powerful aid fiankly tendered him, on his excom- 
•"unication, by the leading men in the great Catholic 
t^niniunities of Asia Minor and the East Csesarea 
"'•IS tile first place to afford him a retreat from Alex- 
Adrian orthodoxy, where he received a cordial 
•"^eption from the learned Eusebius, Metropolitan of 
"^icstine ; while Athanasius, Bishop of Anazarbus in 
^*Ucia, and others, did not hesitate, by letters on his 
*^lia!f, to declare their concurrence with him in the 
''^ll extent of his heresy. Eusebius even declared that 
^Hn'st was not very or true God ; and his associate 
'Athanasius asserted, that He was in the number of 
'^Hc hundred sheep of the parable, that is, one of the 
^''tatures of God. 

Yet, in spite of the countenance of these and other 
Eminent men, Arius found it difficult to maintain his 
ground against the general indignation which his 
l\cresy excited. He was resolutely opposed by Philo- 
gonius, Patriarch of Antioch, and Macarius of Jerusa- 
lem ; who promptly answered the call made upon 
them by Alexander, in his circulars addressed to the 
Syrian Churches. In the meanwhile Eusebius of 
Kicomedia, the early friend of Arius, and tlie eccle- 
siastical advia-r of Constantia, the Emperor's sister, 
declared in his favour ; and offered him a refuge, 
which he readily accepted, from the growing unpopu- 

Kty which attended him in Palestine. Supported 

240 History of the Nicene Council, [chap. in. 

now scarcely to be considered in the position of a 
schismatic or an outcast. He assumed in consequence 
a more calm and respectful demeanour towards Alex- 
ander ; imitated the courteous language of his friend ; 
and in his Epistle, which was introduced into the 
foregoing Chapter, addresses his diocesan with stu- 
dious humility, and defers or appeals to previous 
statements made by Alexander himself on the doc- 
trine in dispute'^. At this time also he seems to have 
corrected and completed his system. George, after- 
wards Bishop of Laodicea, taught him an evasion for 
the orthodox test " of Gody' by a reference to i Cor. 
xi. 12. Asterius, a sophist of Cappadocia, advocated 
the secondary sense of the word Logos as applied to 
Christ, with a reference to such passages as Joel ii. 25 ; 
and, in order to explain away the force of the word 
*^ Only-begotten,'' (fMovoyevrj^;,) maintained, that to 
Christ alone out of all creatures it had been given, 
to be fashioned under the immediate presence and 
perilous weight of the Divine Hand. Now too, as it 
appears, the title of " True God " was ascribed to Him 
by the heretical party ; the **ofan alterable nature'' was 
withdrawn ; and an admission of His actual indefecti- 
bility substituted for it. The heresy being thus placed 
on a less exceptionable basis, the influence of Eusebius 
was exerted in Councils both in Bithynia and Palestine; 
in which Arius was acknowledged, and more urgent 
solicitations addressed to Alexander, with the view of 
effecting his re-admission into the Church. 

^ [Alexander's siding with Arius, was nothing more than his disclaim* 
ing the views of the Five Fathers, vide supr. pp. 202, 220 ; also Appendix, 
No. 2, yevnyo'ts. As to the Arian evasions which follow, vide supr. pp. 
193, 216, 223,238, &c] 

ai-:r,T. j."| History of the Nucnc CouiinL 

This was the history of the controversy for the first 

four or five years of its existence ; that is, till the era 

of the battle of Hadrianople (a.D. 323), by the issue 

of which Constantine, becoming master of the Romar^ 

world, was at liberty to turn his thoughts to the state 

of Christianity in the Eastern Provinces of the Empire. 

From this date it is connected with civil history ; a 

result natural, and indeed necessary under the existing 

circumstances, though it was the occasion of subject- 

iig" Christianity to fresh persecutions, in place of those 

which its nominal triumph had terminated. When a 

Wesy, condemned and excommunicated by one 

f-hurch, was taken up by another, and independent 

Christian bodies thus stood in open opposition, nothing 

'*'as left to those who desired peace, to say nothing of 

Orthodoxy, but to bring the question under the notice 

°' a General CounciL But as a previous step, the 

Jeave of the civil power was plainly necessary for so 

public a display of that wide-spreading Association, 

°' Whicti the faith of the Gospel was the uniting and 

^"Tiating principle. Thus the Church could not 

""^et together in one, without entering into a sort of 

"^gotiation with the powers that be ; whose jealousy 

is the duty of Christians, both as individuals and as 

t»ody, if possible, to dispel. On the other hand, the 

^*^riian Emperor, as a professed disciple of the truth, 

^s of course bound to protect its interests, and to 

**Ord every facility for its establishment in purity and 

"^cacy. It was under these circumstances that the 

*cene Council was convoked. 

Wow we must direct our view for 7> while to the 


242 Histoty of the Nicene Council, [chap, ili 

character and history of Constantine. It is an un« 
grateful task to discuss the private opinions 
motives of an Emperor who was the first to proft 
himself the Protector of the Church, and to relieve It 
from the abject and suffering condition in which it 
had lain for three centuries, Constantine is our 
benefactor ; inasmuch as we, who now live, may 
considered to have received the gift of Christianity 
means of the increased influence which he gave to 
Church. And, were it not that in conferring 
benefaction he burdened it with the bequest of 
liercsy, which outlived his age by many centuries, an( 
still exists in its effects in the divisions of the East, 
nothing would here be said, from mere grateful re- 
collection of him, by way of analyzing the state of 
mind in which he viewed the benefit which he hai 
conveyed to us. But his conduct, as it discovi 
itself in the subsequent history, natural as it was 
his case, still has somewhat of a warning in it, whi) 
must not be neglected in after times. 

It is of course impossible accurately to describe tl 
various feelings with which one in Const antine's"' 
peculiar situation was likely to regard Christianity 
yet the Joint effect of them all may be gathered from 
his actual conduct, and the state of tlie civilized worl 
at the time, ^e found hi^ rmpirp distrartf^ y ril 
ci vil and religious dissensions, which te nded to tl 
dis solution of society ; at a time t on, lyhpn fhp bar- 
fa a rians without were pressing u pen it wi th a vigo ur. 
for midable in itself, but far more menacing in iions p- 
qu ence of the decay of the ancJ F'H- tipfni- 
Ke perceived the powers j)f its Pid polytl'fjj^m, froi 
w hatever cause. e .xhaust£d-L^Litd 3 n ewlv-risen pl iili 



SECT, r.] History of the Nicene Cmmcil. 243 

S ophy vainly endeavouring to resusc itate a m ytTinln gy 
ffliich had done its work, and now, l ike all things of 
earrh,~was fa st returning to thelTust from which it 
*'as taken. He heard tlie same philosophyjncjilcating 
the" principles ol that more exalted-*B d refined id i ^o n, 
™ich a civilized age will always require ; and he 
''^tnessed the same substantial teaching, as he would 
•^f^nsider it, embodied in the precepts, and enforced by 
"■e enei^etic discipline, the union, and the example of 
"•e Christian Church. Here his thoughts would rest, 
•"^ in a natural solution of the investigation to which 
"^O state of his empire gave rise ; and, without know- 
'^g enough of the internal characters of Christianity 
^'^ care to instruct himself in them, he would discern, 
"^^ the face of it, a doctrine more real than that of 
Philosophy, and a rule of lifo more severe and ener- 
S^tic even than that of the old Republia The Gospel 
^^emed to be the fit instrument of a civil reformations, 
*^^ing but a new form of the old wisdom, which had 
Existed in the world at large from the beginning. 
Severing, nay, in one sense, honestly submitting to its 
faith, still he acknowledged it rather as a school than 
joined it as a polity ; and by refraining from the sacra- 
ment of baptism til! his last illness, he acted in the 
spirit of men of the world in every age, who dislike to 
pledge themselves to engagements which they still 
intend to fulfil, and to descend from the position of 
judges to that of disciples of the truth ^. 

Concord is so eminently the perfection of the Chris- 
tian temper, conduct, and discipline, and it had been 
so wonderfully exemplified in the previous history of 

t* Gibbon, ix. 
* Vide his speech, Euscb. Viu Const. \i. 6*. 
R 2 

244 History of the Nicene CotinciL [chap. hi. 

the Church, that it was almost unavoidable in a 
heathen soldier and statesman to regard it as the sole 
precept of the Gospel. It required a far more refined 
moral perception, to detect and to approve the prin- 
ciple on which this internal peace is grounded in 
Scripture ; to submit to the dictation of truth, as such, 
as a primary authority in matters of political and 
private conduct ; to understand how belief in a certain 
creed was a condition of Divine favour, how the social 
union was intended to result from an unity of opinions, 
the love of man to spring from the love of God, and 
zeal to be prior in the succession of Christian graces 
to benevolence. It had been predicted by Him, who 
came to offer peace to the world, that, in matter of 
fact, that gift would be changed into the sword of 
discord ; mankind being offended by the doctrine, 
more than they were won over by the amiableness, of 
Christianity. But He alone was able thus to discern 
through what a succession of difficulties Divine truth 
advances to its final victory ; shallow minds anticipate 
the end apart from the course which leads to it 
Especially they who receive scarcely more of His 
teaching than the instinct of civilization recognizes 
(and Constantine must, on the whole, be classed 
among such), view the religious dissensions of the 
Church as simply evil, and (as they would fain prove) 
contrary to His own precepts ; whereas in fact they 
are but the history of truth in its first stage of trial, 
when it aims at being "pure," before it is "peaceable ;" 
and are reprehensible only so far as baser passions 
mix themselves with that true loyalty towards God, 
which desires His glory in the first place, and only in 
the second place, the tranquillity and good order of 

. 1.] History of tlie Niccm Couiuil. 245 

Tli e_Edic tof M''a.n (A". 313) u'^g amnng.Uia -fe^t 
effe cts of _Con5t an tine's anxiety to restore-iHlowehip 
of feeli ng to the membersof his distracted empire. 
InTFan absolute toleration was given by him and his 
colleague LicJnius, to the Cliristians and all other 
persuasions, to follow the form of worship which each 
had adopted for himself ; and it was granted wi,th the 
professed view of consulting for the peace *f their 

A year did not elapse from the date of this Edicts 

^^len Constantine found it necessary to support it by 

severe repressive measures against the Donatists of 

-''Vfrica, though their offences were scarcely of a civil 

•~* ature. Their schism had originated in the disap- 

t^^ointed ambition of two presbyters ; who fomented 

^-n opposition to Csecilian, illegally elevated, as they 

X>retended, to the episcopate of Carthage. Growing 

* Tto a sect, they appealed to Constantine, who referred 

Vheir cause to the arbitration of successive Councils. 

"These pronounced in favour of C^cilian ; and, on 

^onstantine's reviewing and confirming their sentence, 

the defeated party assailed him with intemperate 

ojmplaints, accused Hosins, his adviser, of partiality 

Pin the decision, stirred up the magistrates against the 
fatholic Cliurch, and endeavoured to deprive it of its 
places of worship. Constantine in consequence took 
possession of their churches, banished their seditious 
bishops, and put some of them to death. A love of 
truth is not irreconcilable either with an unlimited 
toleration, or an exclusive patronage of a selected 
religion ; but to endure or discountenance error, ac- 
cording as it is, or is not, represented in an inde- 
pendent system and existing authority, to spare 

246 History of the Nicefic Council. [_chap. hi. 

the pagans and to tyrannize over the schismatics, is 
the conduct of one who subjected religious principle 
to expediency, and aimed at peace, as a supreme 
good, by forcible measures where it was possible, 
otherwise by conciliation. 

It must be observed, moreover, that subsequently to 
the celebrated vision of the Labarum (A.D. 312), he 
publicly invoked the Deity as one and the same in all 
forms of worship ; and at a later period (A.D. 321), he 
promulgated simultaneous edicts for the observance 
of Sunday, and the due consultation of the aruspices^. 
On the other hand, as in the Edict of Milan, so in 
his Letters and Edicts connected with the JVrian con- 
troversy, the same reference is made to external peace 
and good order, as the chief object towards which his 
thoughts were directed. The same desire of tran- 
quillity led him to summon to the Nicene Council 
the Novatian Bishop Acesius, as well as the orthodox 
prelates. At a later period still when he extended a 
more open countenance to the Church as an institution, 
the same principle discovers itself in his conduct as 
actuated him in his measures against the Donatists. 
In proportion as he recognizes the Catholic body, he 
drops his toleration of the sectaries. He prohibited 
the conventicles of the Valentinians, Montanists, and 
other heretics ; who, at his bidding, joined the Church 
in such numbers (many of them, says Eusebius, 
" through fear of the Imperial threat, with hypocritical 
minds 8"), that at length both heresy and schism 
might be said to disappear from the face of society. 

7 Gibbon, Hist. ibid. 

* Euseb. Vit. Const, iii. 66. \yvv iren-Xi^pwrraL rj c' 
yifvtav alp€TLK(av, Cyril. Catech. xv. 4.] 


Now let us observe his conduct in the Arian con- 

Doubtless it was a grievous disappointment to a 
generous and Jarge-minded prince, to discover that 
the Church itself, from which he had looked for the 
coiisolidation of his empire, was convulsed by dis- 
sensions such as were unknown amid the heartless 
^iTanglings of Pagan philosophy. The disturbances 
<^used by the Donatists, which his acquisition of Italy 
(*-D. 312) had opened upon his view, extended from 
'he borders of the Alexandrian patriarchate to the 
''cean. The conquest of the East (A.D. 323) did but 
^^liarge his prospect of the distractions of Christeii- 
*'oin. The patriarchate just mentioned had lately 
l^en visited by a deplorable heresy, which having run 
'ts course through the chief parts of Egypt, Lybia, 
^nd Cyrenaica, had attacked Palestine and Syria, and 
spread thence into the dioceses of Asia Minor and 
the Lydian Proconsulate. 

Constantine was informed of the growing schism at 
lomedia, and at once addressed a letter to Alex- 
ler and Arius jointly^ ; a reference to which will 
lable the reader to verify for himself the account 
above given of the nature of the Emperor's Chris- 
tianity. He professes therein two motives as impel- 
ling him in his public conduct ; first, the desire of 
effecting the reception, throughout his dominions, of 
some one definite and complete form of religious 
worship ; next, that of settling and invigorating the 
civil institutions of the empire. Desirous of securing an 
unity of sentiment among all the believers in the Deity, 
he first directed his attention to the religious dissen- 

248 History of tJie Nicene Council, [chap. hi. 

sions of Africa, which he had hoped, with the aid of 
the Oriental Christians, to terminate. " But," he con- 
tinues, " glorious and Divine Providence ! how fatally 
were my ears, or rather my heart, wounded, by the 
report of a rising schism among you, far more acri- 
monious than the African dissensions. . . . On investi- 
gation, I find that the reason for this quarrel is 
insignificant and worthless. ... As I understand it, 
you, Alexander, were asking the separate opinions of 
your clergy on some passage of your law, or rather 
were inquiring about some idle question, when you, 
Arius, inconsiderately committed yourself to state- 
ments which should either never have come into your 
mind, or have been at once repressed. On this a 
difference ensued. Christian intercourse was sus- 
pended, the sacred flock was divided into two, 
breaking the harmonious unity of the common body. 
.... Listen to the advice of me, your fellow-ser- 
vant : — neither ask nor answer questions which are 
not upon any injunction of your law, but from the 
altercation of barren leisure ; at best keep them to 
yourselves, and do not publish them. . . . Your con- 
tention is not about any capital commandment of 
your law ; neither of you is introducing any novel 
scheme of divine worship ; you are of one and the 
same way of thinking, so that it is in your power to 
unite in one communion. Even the philosophers can 
agree together, one and all, in one dogma, though 
differing in particulars. ... Is it righr for brothers to 
oppose brothers, for the sake of trifles ? . . . Such 
conduct might be expected from the multitude, or 
from the recklessness of boyhood ; but is little in . 
keeping with your sacred profession, and with yoiqlf 

SECT. I.] Hislory of the Ni(at£ Cottacil- 349 

personal wisdom," Such is the substance of his 
letter, which, ^-rittcn on an imperfect knowledge of 
the facts of the case, and with somewhat of the preju- 
dices of Eclectic liberalism, was inapplicable, even 
^vhere abstractedly true ; his fault ly-ing in his suppos- 
"ig, that an individual like himself, «ho had not even 
'^ceived the grace of baptism, could discriniinatc 
''etween great and little questions in theology. He 
Concludes with the following words, which show the 
^niiablcness and sincerity of a mind in a nicaMiiro 
^^'akened from the darkness of heathenism, thmn;h 
•*<;y betray the affectation of the rhetorician : " Give 
'^^e back my days of calm, my nights of security ; 
*»at I may experience henceforth the comfort of the 
'^Icar light, and the cheerfulness of tranqitillily. 
^-^ therwise, I shall sigh and be dissolved in tears. . . So 
^»-eat is my grief, that I put off my journey to tliR 
"■^S^ast on the news of your dissension, . . , Open for me 
'-■liat path towards you, which your contentions have 
^^losed up. Let me see you and all other citicn in 
*"*appincss ; that I may oflfcr due thanlcHgivIngn to 
^^qA above, for the unanimity and free intertourof 
^^^tehich is seen among you." 

^^K' This letter was conveyed to the Alcx.indfian 
^^^Church by Hosius, who was 3j>point«<l 1^ \\w 
^^^^mperor to mediate between the conttndf«(j [jartiui, 
A Council was called, in uiucli »on)« mitva inefiU' 
laiities were zirsnged, but nothif^ settled on tiut 
main question in disfMitc Ummw Mbinwd to hi» 
master to report ao ujmtecmtsliA niatioH, *n4 t» 
wh'tse. as the sole m t M u n n/likh nnoMJat^ i/t Iw 
atkiptcd, the callii^ of s Ge»«nd CwmuH, in wiiuit 
the ( -^fapr tM0it W IvimiMy 4'Oiiiu»4, 

-ttwr n*i 

250 History of the Nicene Council, [chap. hi. 

and a judgment promulgated as to the basis upon 
which communion with the Church was henceforth 
to be determined. Constantine assented ; and, dis- 
covering that the ecclesiastical authorities were 
earnest in condemning the tenets of Arius, as being 
an audacious innovation on the received creed, he 
suddenly adopted a new line of conduct towards the 
heresy ; and in a Letter which he addressed to Arius, 
professes himself a zealous advocate of Christian 
truth, ventures to expound it, and attacks Arius with 
a vehemence which can only be imputed to his im- 
patience in finding that any individual had presumed 
to disturb the peace of the community. It is remark- 
able, as showing his utter ignorance of doctrines, 
which were never intended for discussion among the 
unbaptized heathen, or the secularized Christian, that, 
in spite of this bold avowal of the orthodox faith in 
detail, yet shortly after he explained to Eusebius one 
of the Nicene declarations in a sense which even 
Arius would scarcely have allowed, expressed as it is 
almost after the manner of Paulus i. 

The first Ecumenical Council met at Nicaea in 
Bithynia, in the summer of A.D. 325. It was attended 
by about 300 Bishops, chiefly from the eastern pro- 
vinces of the empire, besides a multitude of priests, 
deacons, and other functionaries of the Church. 
Hosius, one of the most eminent men of an age of 
saints, was president. The Fathers who took the 
principal share in its proceedings were Alexander of 
Alexandria, attended by his deacon Athanasius, then 

* Thcod. Hist. i. la. 

'. I.] History of the Nicene Couticil. 251 

about zf years of age, and soon afterwards his successor 

'n the see ; Eustathius, patriarch of Antioch, Macarius 

of Jerusalem, Csecilian of Carthage, tlie object of the 

hostility of the Donatists, Leontiiis of Cassarea in 

Cappadocia, and Marcellus of Ancyra, whose name 

"^as afterwards unhappily notorious in the Church. 

^he number of Arian Bishops is variously stated at 

'3. 17, or 22 ; the most conspicuous of these being the 

'^ell-known prelates of Nicomedia and Cresarea, both 

'^^ whom bore the name of Euscbius. 

The discussions of the Council commenced in the 
fiddle of June, and were at first private. Arius was 
'^^troduccd and examined ; and confessed his im- 
t»ietics with a plainness and vehemence far more 
*~»ispectable than the hypocrisy which was the charac- 
teristic of his party, and ultimately was adopted 
t>y himself. Then followed his disputation with 
■^thanasius *, who afterwards engaged the Arian 

• ["It isdif[icull,"sDy thcNoles, Alh. Tr. vol. it. p. 17. ■' lo gain a 
Vlear idetl ofllie ctiaincler of Arius. ALhanasius speuks Dti if his Thalia 
"^vas but ID lieeping iviih liia life, calling him 'tlie Sotaileui Arius,' wlille 
^Jonstantinc, Alcaandpr, anil Epiphanius give us a coDlrai]' view of liini, 
«lill (liRering une from the uthcr. ConstaotiDC, iodccd. is noi coiisistenc 
"^th bitnself ; first he ciies out la him (as it with Athanaaius), 'Arius, 
JlfiuB, at leaat Id Ihc socicly of Venus keep you back,' theii ' Looli, look 
all vaea . . how his veins aud flesh are possessed with poison, and are in 
a ferment of severe pain ; how his whale body is wasted, aud is all 

tVTkdiered and sad and pale and shaking, and all that is miserable and 
(Kufull; emaciated. How haleful lo see, and hovr fillhy is his mass of 
hair, bow he is half dead all over, with failing eyes and bloodless oiunti'- 
naace, and woc-begone; so thai, all these things combining in him .11 
otHX. fttalYt madness, and folly, from ihe continuance of the complaini, 
hare made ihec wild and savage. Bui, not having any sense of the bad 
pGgbl he is in. he cries out, " 1 am Iransponed with delight, and I leap 
■nd skip for joy, and I fly ; " and again, with boyish impcluosily, " " 
•o," he saya, " we are lost." ' " Harduin. Cone. t. i. p. 457. St Alexan- 

252 History of the Nicene Council, [chap. III. 

Eusebius of Nicomedia, Maris, and Theognis. The 
unfortunate Marcellus also distinguished himself in 
the defence of the Catholic doctrine. 

Reference has been already made to Gibbon's 
representation ^ that the Fathers of the Council were 
in. doubt for a time, how to discriminate between 
their own doctrine and the heresy ; but the discus- 
sions of the foregoing Chapter contain sufficient 
evidence, that they had rather to reconcile themselves 
to the adoption of a formula which expedience sug- 
gested, and to the use of it as a test, than to discover 
a means of ejecting or subduing their opponents. In 
the very beginning of the controversy, Eusebius of 
Nicomedia had declared, that he would not admit the 
'^from the substance " as an attribute of our Lord ^. 
A letter containing a similar avowal was read in the 
Council, and made clear to its members the objects 
for which they had met ; viz. to ascertain the char- 
acter and tendency of the heresy ; to raise a protest 
and defence against it ; lastly, for that purpose, to 

der speaks of Arius's melancholy temperament. Epiphanius*s account 
of him is as follows : " From elation of mind this old man swerved from 
the truth. He was in stature very tall, downcast in visage, with man- 
ners like a wily serpent, captivating to every guileless heart by that same 
crafty bearing. For, ever habited in cloke and vest, he was pleasant of 
address, ever persuading souls and flattering," &c. Haer. 69, 3. Arius is 
here said to be tall ; Athanasius, unless Julian's description of him is but 
declamation, was short, ftiySc avrfp, dAA' dvOpoyirCarKo^ evrckrj^ (" not 
even a man, but a common little fellow*'). Ep. 51. However, Gregory 
Nazianzen, who had never seen him, speaks of him, as "high in prowess, 
and humble in spirit, mild, meek, full of sympathy, pleasant in speech, 
more pleasant in manners, angelical in person, more angelical in mind, 
serene in his rebukes, instructive in his praises,*' &c. Orat. 21. 8.] 

* [Supr. p. 234.] 

* Theod. Hist. i. 6. [Vide Ath. Tr. vol. ii. p. 438.] 

&ECT'. I."] History of the Nicene Council. 253 

^.' «Dvercome their own reluctance to the formal and 

■«-in authoritative adoption of a word, in explanation 
<Df the true doctrine, which was not found in Scripture, 
3iad actually been perverted in the previous century 
■40 an heretical meaning, and was in consequence 
:i'orbidden by the Antiochene Council which con- 
<iemned Paul us. 

»The Arian party, on the other hand, anxious to 
avoid a test, which they themselves had suggested, 
presented a Creed of their own, drawn up by Eusebius 
of CsBsarea. In it, though the expression "of tlu 
substance" or " constibstaniial" was emitted, every 
term of honour and dignity, short of this, was be- 
stowed therein upon the Son of God ; who was des- 
ignated as the Logos of God, God of God, Light of 
Light, Life of Life, the Only-begotten Son, the First- 
bom of the whole creation, of the Father before al! 
worlds, and the Instrument of creating them. The 
Three Persons were confessed to be in real hypostasis 

»or subsistence (in opposition to Sabellianism), and to 
1>e truly Father, Son, and Holy Ghost- The Catho- 
lics saw very clearly, that concessions of this kind on 
the part of the Arians did not conceal the real question 
in dispute. Orthodox as were the terms employed 
by them, naturally and satisfactorily as they would 
have answered the purposes of a test, had the existing 
questions never been agitated, and consistent as they 
were with certain producible statements of the Antc- 
Nicene writers, they were irrelevant at a time when 
evasions had been found for them all, and triumph- 
antly proclaimed. The plain question was, whether 
our Lord was God in as full a sense as the Father, 
though not to be viewed as separable from Him ; or 

254 History of tlie Nicene Council, [chap, iil 

whether, as the sole alternative, He was a creature ; 
that is, whether He was literally of, and in, the one 
Indivisible Essence which we adore as God, " consub- 
stantial with God," or of a substance which had a 
beginning. The Arians said that He was a creature, 
the Catholics that He was very God ; and all the 
subtleties of the most fertile ingenuity could not alter, 
and could but hide, this fundamental difference. A 
specimen of the Arian argumentation at the Council 
has already been given on the testimony of Athana- 
sius ; happily it was not successful. A form of creed 
was drawn up by Hosius, containing the discrimina- 
ting terms of orthodoxy 5 ; and anathemas were added 
against all who maintained the heretical formulae, 
Arius and his immediate followers being mentioned 
by name. In order to prevent misapprehension of 
the sense in which the test was used, explanations 
accompanied it. Thus carefully defined, it was offered 
for subscription to the members of the Council ; who 
in consequence bound themselves to excommunicate 
from their respective bodies all who actually obtruded 
upon the Church the unscriptural and novel positions 
of Arius. As to the laity, they were not required to 
subscribe any test as the condition of communion ; 
though they were of course exposed to the operation 
of the anathema, in case they ventured on positive 
innovations on the rule of faith. 

While the Council took this clear and temperate 

• [Justice has not been done here to the ground of tradition, on which 
the Fathers specially took their stand. For example, ** Whoever heard 
such doctrine ? '* says Athanasius ; "whence, from whom did thiy gain it? 
Who thus expounded to them when they were at school ? ** Orat. i. § 8. 
" Is it not enough to distract a man, and to nuke him stop his cars?"' 
\ 3$. Vide Ath. Tr. vol ii. pp. 247—253, 311.] 

r. I.J History of Uie Niccne Council. 255 

view of its duties, Constantine acted a part altogether 

Consistent with his own previous sentiments, and 

praiseworthy under the circumstances of his defective 

'"lowiedge. He had followed tlie proceedings of the 

assembled prelates with interest, and had neglected 

"o opportunity of impressing upon them the supreme 

"nportance of securing the peace of the Church. On 

f^e opening of the Council, he had set the example 

'^f conciliation, by burning publicly, without reading, 

*^^«iain charges which had been presented to him 

"Sainst some of its members ; a noble act, as conveying 

* lesson to all present to repress every private feeling, 

^»^d to deliberate for the well-being of the Church 

^- ^tholic to the end of time. Such was his behaviour, 

J^liile the question in controversy was still pending; 

^ Vjt when the decision was once announced, his tone 

^-Xtered, and what had been a recommendation of 

^^^"^ution, at once became an injunction to conform. 

^-^— opposition to the sentence of the Church was con- 

^^ i-dered as disobedience to the civil authority ; the 

^?fcrospcct of banishment was proposed as the altcrna- 

"^ive of subscription ; and it was not long before seven 

^^f the thirteen dissentient Bishops submitted to the 

"pressure of the occasion, and accepted the creed with 

its anathemas as articles of peace. 

Indeed the position in which Eusebius of Nico- 
snedia had placed their cause, rendered it difficult for 
them consistently to refuse subscription. The violence, 
with which Arius originally assailed the Catholics. 
had been succeeded by an affected earnestness for 
unity and concord, so soon as his favour at Court 
allowed him to dispense with the low popularity by 
which he first rose into notice. The insignificancy of 

256 History of the Nicene Council, [chap. hi. 

the points in dispute which had lately been the very 
ground of complaint with him and his party against 
the particular Church which condemned him, became 
an argument for . their yielding, when the other 
Churches of Christendom confirmed the sentence of 
the Alexandrian. It is said, that some of them sub- 
stituted the ^'homoeusion ** ("/ike in substance''), for the 
*^komousion** ("one in substance'' ) in the confessions 
which they presented to the Council ; but it is unsafe 
to trust the Anomoean Philostorgius, on whose autho- 
rity the report rests ^, in a charge against the Eusebian 
party, and perhaps after all he merely means, that 
they explained the latter by the former as an excuse 
for their own recantation. The six, who remained 
unpersuaded, had founded an objection, which the 
explanations set forth by the Council had gone to 
obviate, on the alleged materialism of the word which 
had been selected as the test. At length four of them 
gave way ; and the other two, Eusebius of Nicomedia 
and another, withdrawing their opposition to the 
"komoiision," only refused to sign the condemnation 
of Arius. These, however, were at length released 
from their difficulty, by the submission of the here- 
siarch himself; who was pardoned on the understand- 
ing, that he never returned to the Church, which had 
suffered so much from his intrigues. There is, how- 
ever, some difficulty in this part of the history. 
Eusebius shortly afterwards suffered a temporary 
exile, on a detection of his former practices with 
Licinius to the injury of Constantine; and Arius, 
apparently involved in his ruin, was banished with 
his followers into Illyria. 

* Philosu i. 9* 


^Om the time that the Eusebians consented to sub- 
^-^ibe the Homoiision in accordance with the wishes 
*** a heathen prince, they became nothing better tlian 
"■ political party. They soon learned, indeed, to call 
*«cmselvcs Homoeiisians, or believers in the "like" 
Substance (Iwmmision,) as if they still held the peculi- 
arities of a religious creed ; but in truth it is an abuse 
«f language to say that they had any definite belief at 

»alL For this reason, the account of the Homceusian 
or Semi-Arian doctrine shall be postponed, till such 
time as we fall in with individuals whom we may 
believe to be serious in their professions, and to act 
under the influence of religious convictions however 
erroneous. Here the Eusebians must be described as 
a secular faction, which is the true character of them 
I in the history in which they bear a part. 

Strictly speaking, the Christian Church, as being a 

I visible society, is necessarily a political power or 

I party. It may be a party triumphant, or a party 

\ under persecution ; but a party it always must be, 

prior in existence to the civil institutions with which 

surrounded, aud from its latent divinity fonni- 

258 Consequences of the Nicene Council, [chap.iii. 

dable and influential, even to the end of time. The 
grant of permanency was made in the beginning, not 
to the mere doctrine of the Gospel, but to the Associ- 
ation itself built upon the doctrine ' ; in prediction, 
not only of the indestructibility of Christianity, but of 
the medium also through which it was to be mani- 
fested to the world. Thus the Ecclesiastical Body is 
a divinely-appointed means, towards realizing the 
great evangelical blessings. Christians depart from 
their duty, or become in an offensive sense political, 
not when they act as members of one community, but 
when they do so for temporal ends or in an illegal 
manner ; not when they assume the attitude of a 
party, but when they split into many. If the primitive 
believers did not interfere with the acts of the civil 
government, it was merely because they had no civil 
rights enabling them legally to do so. But where 
they have rights, the case is different 2 ; and the 
existence of a secular spirit is to be ascertained, not 
by their using these, but their using them for ends 
short of the ends for which they were given. Doubt- 
less in criticizing the mode of their exercising them in 
a particular case, differences of opinion may fairly 
exist ; but the principle itself, the duty of using their 
civil rights in the service of religion, is clear ; and 
since there is a popular misconception, that Christians, 
and especially the Clergy, as such, have no concern in 
temporal affairs, it is expedient to take every oppor- 
tunity of formally denying the position, and demanding 
proof of it. In truth, the Church was framed for the 
express purpose of interfering, or (as irreligious men 
will say) meddling with the world. It is the plain 

* Matt. xvi. iS, 3 Acts xvi. 37 — ^39. 

~^tih. u^C6n.ssjttenc£s of Ike Nicene CoHHtil. 259 

^uty of its members, not only to associate internally, 
%ut also to devctopc that internal union in an external 
^larfarc with the spirit of evil, whether in Kings' 
<ourts or among the mixed multitude ; and, if they 
can do nothing else, at least they can suffer for the 
truth, and remind men of "t, by inflicting on them the 
task of persecution. 

These principles being assumed, it is eas)- to enter 
into the relative positions of the Catholics and Arians 
at the era under consideration. As to tlie Arians, it 
is a matter of fact, that Arius and his friends com- 
menced their career with the deliberate commission of 
disorderly and schismatical acts ; and it is a clear 
inference from their subsequent proceedings, that they 
did so for private ends. For both reasons, then, they 
were a mere political faction, usurping tlie name of 
religion ; and, as such, essentially anti-christian. The 
question here is not whether their doctrine was right 
ir wrong ; but, whether they did not make it a 
'Secondary object of their exertions, an instrument 
towards attaining ends which they valued above it. 
Now it will be found, that the party was prior to the 
creed. They grafted their heresy on the schism of 
le Meletians, who continued to support them after 
ley had published it ; and they readily abandoned it, 
len their secular interests required the sacrifice. At 
the Council of Nica;a, they began by maintaining an 
erroneous doctrine ; they ended by concessions which 
implied the further heresy that points of faith are of 
no importance; and, if they were odious when they 
blasphemed the truth, they were still more odious 

26o Consequences oftheNicene Council, [chap.iii. 

when they confessed it. It was the very principle of 
Eclecticism to make light of differences in belief; 
while it was involved in the primary notion of a 
Revelation that these differences were of importance, 
and it was taught with plainness in the Gospel, that 
to join with those who denied the right faith was a 

This adoption, however, on the part of the Euse- 
bians, of the dreams of Pagan philosophy, served in 
some sort as a recommendation of them to a prince 
who, both from education and from knowledge of the 
world, was especially tempted to consider all truth as 
a theory which was not realized in a present tangible 
form. Accordingly, when once they had rid them- 
selves of the mortification caused by their forced 
subscription, they had the satisfaction of finding 
themselves the most powerful party in the Church, 
as being the representative and organ of the Em- 
peror's sentiments. They then at once changed places 
with the Catholics ; who sustained a double defeat, 
both in the continued power of those whom they had 
hoped to exclude from the Church, and again, in the 
invidiousness of their own unrelenting suspicion and 
dislike of men, who had seemed by subscription to 
satisfy all reasonable doubt respecting their ortho- 

The Arian party was fortunate, moreover, in its 
leaders ; one the most dexterous politician, the other 
the most accomplished theologian of the age. Euse- 
bius of Nicomedia was a Lucianist, the fellow-disciple 
of Arius. He was originally Bishop of Berytus, in 
Phoenicia ; but, having gained the confidence of Con- 
«tantia, sister to Constantine, and wife to Licinius, he 

SKT; n?[ Consequences of the Nicene Council. 261 

was by her influence translated to Nicomedia, where 
the Eastern Court then resided. Here he secretly 
engaged in the cause of Licinius against iiis rival, 
and is even reported to have been indifferent to the 
st-curityof the Christians during the persecution which 
followed ; a charge which certainly derives some con- 
^nrjation from Alexander's circular epistle, in which 
the Arians are accused of directing the violence of the 
civil power against the orthodox of Alexandria. On 
the ruin of Licinius, he was screened by Constantia 
•''oin the resentment of the conqueror ; and, being 
"^c^^^tm mended by his polished manners and shrewd 
^n<i persuasive talent, he soon contrived to gain an 
'^flvience over the mind of Constantinc himself. From 
***^ time that Arius had recourse to him on his flight 
''*^>m Palestine, he is to be accounted the real head of 
^^ heretical party ; and his influence is quickly 
*S«ernible in the change which ensued in its language 
^""^^ conduct While a courteous tone was assumed 
"~-*"Vvard3 the defenders of the orthodox doctrine, tlie 
*^V)tleties of dialectics, in which the sect excelled, 
^''^re used, not in attacking, but in deceiving its oppo- 
^^ots. in making unbelief plausible, and obliterating 
^*Xe distinctive marks of the true creed. It must not 
•^^ forgotten that it was from Nicomedia, the see of 
1 -^Xusebius, that Constantine wrote his epistle to Alex- 
fender and Arius. 

In supporting Arianism in its new direction, the 

\ Either Eusebius, Bishop of Ca^sarea, was of singular 

" Siervice, This distinguished writer, to whom the Chris- 

I \ian world has so great a debt at the present day, 

though not characterized by the unprincipled ambition 

of bis namesake, is unhappily connected in history 

262 Consequences of ike Nicene CoundL [chap. hi. 

with the Arian party. He seems to have had the 
faults and the virtues of the mere man of letters : 
strongly excited neither to good nor to evil, and 
careless at once of the cause of truth and the prizes of 
secular greatness, in comparison of the comforts and 
decencies of literary ease. His first master was 
Dorotheus of Antioch 3 ; afterwards he became a 
pupil of the School of Caesarea, which seems to have 
been his birth-place, and where Origen had taught. 
Here he studied the works of that great master, and 
the other writers of the Alexandrian school. It does 
not appear when he first began to arianize. At 
Caesarea he is celebrated as the friend of the Orthodox 
Pamphilus, afterwards martyred, whom he assisted in 
his defence of Origen, in answer to the charges of 
heterodoxy then in circulation against him. The first 
book of this work is still extant in the Latin trans- 
lation of Ruffinus, and its statements of the Catholic 
doctrines are altogether explicit and accurate. In 
his own writings, numerous as they are, there is very 
little which fixes on Eusebius any charge, beyond that 
of an attachment to the Platonic phraseology. Had 
he not connected himself with the Arian party, it 
would have been unjust to have suspected him of 
heresy. But his acts are his confession. He openly 
sided with those whose blasphemies a true Christian 
would have abhorred ; and he sanctioned and shared 
their deeds of violence and injustice perpetrated on the 

But it is a different reason which has led to the 
mention of Eusebius in this connection. The grave 
accusation under which he lies, is not that of arian- 

* Danz. de Eus. Caesar. 22. 

SEcT,ii.J Consequsnas of the Nicaii: CoumU. 263 

'^'"g. but of corrupting the simplicity of the Gospel 
with an Eclectic spirit. While he held out the 
ambiguous language of the schools as a refuge, and 
tile Alexandrian imitation of it as an argument, 
ainst the pursuit of the orthodox, his conduct gave 
Countenance to the secular maxim, that difference in 
•creeds is a matter of inferior moment, and that, pro- 
vided we confess as far as the very terms of Scripture, 
^'*^ may speculate as philosophers, and live as the 
rid* A more dangerous adviser Constantine could 
"ardly have selected, than a man thus variously gifted, 
thus exalted in the Churdi, thus disposed towards the 
"^^r-y errors against which he required especially to be 
^"a-i-ded. The remark has been made that, through- 
*-*ut his Ecclesiastical History no instance occurs of 
'^ expressing abhorrence of the superstitions of 
, ^^^anism, and that his custom is eitlier to praise, or 
^fc^'^t to blame, such heretical writers as fall under his 

^tT ^^or must the influence of the Court pass unnoticed, 
^* recounting the means by which Arianism secured a 
^~^ld over the mind of the Emperor. Constantia, his 
^^^^*-'\^ourite sister, was the original patroness of Eusebius 
^K^*" Nicomedia ; and thus a princess, whose name 
^^P^^uld otherwise be dignified by her misfortunes, is 

'* In this association of the Euscbian with Ihe Eclectic tempci, it niusi 
r*i>1 be largollai, that Julian iht Apostate was the pupil of Eusebius of 
^^icomrdia, his kinsmaji; that he took part with Ibe Arians against the 
Catholics : and that, in one of his exam epistles, he speaks in piaJse of 
^*»e writings of an Aiian Bishop, Groige of Laodicea. Vidt- Weisman, 

•«se.iY.3S *''■ 

* Kesiner dc Euseh. Auctor. prolcgom. { I J. Yet it must be e.5ifts3«l. 
he is strongly opposed to ■yojjrtio iti all its foima i i. e i« being un- 
xvottlij' a philnsopher. 

264 Consequmces of the Nicene CounciL [chap.iil 

known to Christians of later times only as a principal 
instrument of the success of heresy. Wrought upon 
by a presbyter, a creature of the bishop's, who was in 
her confidence, she summoned Constantine to her 
bed-side in her last illness, begged him, as her parting 
request, to extend his favour to the Arians, and 
especially commended to his regard the presbyter 
himself, who had stimulated her to this experiment on 
the feelings of a brother. The hangers-on of the 
Imperial Court imitated her in her preference for the 
polite and smooth demeanour of the Eusebian pre- 
lates, which was advantageously contrasted to the 
stern simplicity of the Catholics. The eunuchs and 
slaves of the palace (strange to say) embraced the 
tenets of Arianism ; and all the most light-minded 
and frivolous of mankind allowed themselves to 
pervert the solemn subject in controversy into matter 
for fashionable conversation or literary amusement. 

The arts of flattery completed the triumph of the 
heretical party. So many are the temptations to 
which monarchs are exposed of forgetting that they 
are men, that it is obviously the duty of the Episcopal 
Order to remind them that there is a visible Power in 
the world, divinely founded and protected, superior to 
their own. But Eusebius places himself at the feet 
of a heathen ; and forgetful of his own ordination- 
grace, allows the Emperor to style himself " the bishop 
of Paganism," and " the predestined Apostle of virtue 
to all men 6." The shrine of the Church was thrown 
open to his inspection ; and, contrary to the spirit of 
Christianity, its mysteries were officiously explained 
to one who was not yet even a candidate for baptism. 

• Euseb. Vit. Const, iii. 58. iv. 24. Vide also, i. 4. 24. 

^^-CT II.] Consequences of ike Nieene Cmtneil. 265 

file restoration and erection of Churches, which is the 
honourable distinction of his reign, assimilated him, 
in the minds of his courtiers, to the Divine Founder 
and r*riest of the invisible temple ; and the magni- 
ficence, which soothed the vanity of a monarch, seemed 
'n its charitable uses almost a substitute for personal 

^Vljile events thus gradually worked for the secular 

^"^^ncement of the heretical party, the Catholics 

*er^ allotted gratifications and anxieties of a higher 

cliaracter. The proceedings of the Council had de- 

tect^d the paucity of the Arians among the Rulers of 

'"J Church ; which had been the more clearly ascer- 

'^"^^d, inasmuch as no temporal interests had operated 

*" &ain for the orthodox cause that vast preponderance 

^' Advocates which it had actually obtained. More- 

°^'^*", it had confirmed by the combined evidence of 

^^ universal Church, the ailment from Scripture 

"*3. local tradition, which each separate Christian 

°*"*nmunity already possessed. And there was a 

^^ i sfaction in having found a formula adequate to the 

r""^^ servation of the all-important article in controversy 

^U its purity. On the other hand, in spite of these 

r^ Xnediate causes of congratulation, the fortunes of 

^^^ Church were clouded in prospect, by the Em- 

P^^^or's adoption of its Creed as a formula of peace, 

"^^^^t of belief, and by the ready subscription of the 

. ^^ principled faction, which had previously objected to 

'*^~ This immediate faiUire, which not imfrequently 

- *-^tends beneficial measures in their commencement. 

266 Conseqtiences of the Nicene CounciL\cKAV. iii. 

issued, as has been said, in the temporary triumph of 
the Arians. The disease, which had called for the 
Council, instead of being expelled from the system, 
was thrown back upon the Church, and for a time 
afflicted it ^ ; nor was it cast out, except by the 
persevering fasting and prayer, the labours and suf- 
ferings, of the oppressed believers. Meanwhile, the 
Catholic prelates could but retire from the Court 
party, and carefully watch its movements ; and, in 
consequence, incurred the reproach and the penalty 
of being " troublers of Israel." This may be illustrated 
from the subsequent history of Arius himself, with 
which this Chapter shall close. 

It is doubtful, whether or not Arius was persuaded 
to sign the symbol at the Nicene Council ; but at 
least he professed to receive it about five years after- 
wards. At this time Eusebius of Nicomedia had 
been restored to the favour of Constantine ; who, on 
the other hand, influenced by his sister, had become 
less zealous in his adherence to the orthodox side of 
the controversy. An attempt was made by the 
friends of Arius to effect his re-admission into the 
Church at Alexandria. The great Athanasius was at 
this time Primate of Egypt ; and in his instance the 
question was tried, whether or not the Church would 
adopt the secular principles, to which the Arians were 
willing to subject it, and would abandon its faith, as 
the condition of present peace and prosperity. He 
was already known as the counsellor of Alexander in 
the previous controversy ; yet, Eusebius did not at 
once give up the hope of gaining him over, a hope 
which was strengthened by his recent triumph over 

• Theod, Hist. i. 6, fiiu 

•nences of ike Nicene Council. 267 

the orthodox prelates of Antioch, Gaza, and Hadrian- 
Ople,whom he had found means to deprive of their 
sees to make way for Ariaiis. Failing in his attempt 
at conciliation, he pursued the policy which might 
have been anticipated, and accused the Bishop of 
Alexandria of a youthful rashness, and an obstinate 
contentious spirit, incompatible with the good under- 
standing which ought to subsist among Christians, 
Ariiis was summoned to Court, presented an ambig- 
uous confession, and was favourably received by 
I Cons tan tine. Thence he was despatched to Alex- 

andria, and was quickly followed by an imperial 
injunction addressed to Athanasius, in order to secure 
the restoration of the heresiarch to the Church to 
^"ich he had belonged. " On being informed of my 
P'^asurc," saj's Constantine, in the fragment of the 
'Epistle preserved by Athanasius, "give free admission 
'" 3-11, who arc desirous of entering into communion 
'''"H the Church. For if I learn of your standing in 
"'^ "way of any who were seeking it, or interdicting 
fnern, I will send at once those who shall depose you 
'nsin^gj^ by my authority, and banish you from your 
see ^" ]j ^gg ^yj- (q |jg supposed, that Athanasius 
'<*v»ld yield to an order, though from his sovereign, 
^^icrli was conceived in such ignorance of the principles 
° Churcli communion, and of the powers of its 
*^*-*Xers; and, on his explanation, the Emperor pro- 
*^^ed himself wel! satisfied, that he should use his 
^^ ti discretion in the matter. The intrigues of the 
~^^-* sebians, which followed, shall elsewhere be related; 
tiv^iy ended in effecting the banishment of Athanasius 

tl, the restoration of Arius at a Council held 
• Alhan. Apol.c>,nlr. Arinii 59. 

268 Consequences of the Nicene Council. Fchap. hi. 

at Jerusalem, his return to Alexandria, and, when the 
anger of the intractable populace against him broke 
out into a tumult, his recall to Constantinople to ^\w^ 
further explanations respecting his real opinions. 

There the last and memorable scene of his history 
took place, and furnishes a fresh illustration of the 
clearness and integrity, with which the Catholics 
maintained the true principles of Church union, 
against those who would have sacrificed truth to 
peace. The aged Alexander, bishop of the see, 
underwent a persecution of entreaties and threats, 
such as had already been employed against Athana- 
sius. The Eusebians ui^ed upon him, by way of 
warning, their fresh successes over the Bishops of 
Ancyra and Alexandria ; and appointed a day, by 
which he was to admit Arius to communion, or to be 
ejected from his see. Constantine confirmed this 
alternative. At first, indeed, he had been struck with 
doubts respecting the sincerity of Arius ; but, on the 
latter professing with an oath that his tenets were 
orthodox, and presenting a confession, in which the 
terms of Scripture were made the vehicle of his char- 
acteristic impieties, the Emperor dismissed his scruples, 
observing with an anxiety and seriousness which rise 
above his ordinary character, that Arius had well 
sworn if his words had no double meaning ; otherwise, 
God would avenge. The miserable man did not 
hesitate to swear, that he professed the Creed of the 
Catholic Church without reservation, and that he had 
never said nor thought otherwise, than according to the 
statements which he now made. 

For seven days previous to that appointed for his 
re-admission, the Church of Constantinople, Bishop 

SECT. II.] Conseguenees of the Nicene Council. 269 

and people, were given up to fasting and prayer. 
Alexander, after a vain endeavour to move the 
Emperor, had recourse to the most solemn and 
extraordinary form of anathema allowed in the 
Church' ; and with tears besought its Divine Guardian, 
either to take himself out of the world, or to remove 
thence the instrument of those extended and increasing 
spiritual evils, with which Christendom was darken- 
■"&■ On the evening before the day of his proposed 
triumph, Arius passed through the streets of the city 
with his party, in an ostentatious manner ; when the 
strol^e of death suddenly overtook him, and he expired 
before his danger was discovered. 

tJtider the circumstances, a thoughtful mind cannot 
tiut account this as one of those remarkable interpo- 
*""^iis of power, by which Divine Providence urges on 
'"^ consciences of men in the natural course of things, 
™^ttheirreason from the first acknowledges, that He 
'* r»ot indifferent to human conduct. To say that 
'"*iSe do not fall within the ordinary course of His 
ga-v.^grnance, is merely to say that they prejudgments; 
^'"*ich, in the common meaning of the word, stand for 
^^^nts extraordinary and unexpected. That such do 
^»ce place under the Christian Dispensation, is suffi- 
^^^ntiy proved by the history of Ananias and Sapphira. 
^t is remarkable too, that the similar occuiTences, 
^'^ich happen at the present day, are generally con- 
nected with some unusual perjury or extreme blas- 
t-phcmy; and, though we may not infer the sin 
" the circumstance of the temporal infliction, 
fyet, the commission of the sin being ascertained, 
r'We mav well account, that its guilt is providentially 

2 yo Consequences of the Nicene CvunciL [chap. hi. 

impressed on the minds and enlarged in the esti- 
mation of the multitude, by the visible penalty by 
which it is followed. Nor do we in such cases neces- 
sarily pass any absolute sentence upon the person, 
who appears to be the object of Divine Visita- 
tion ; but merely upon the particular act which 
provoked it, and which has its fearful character of evil 
stamped upon it, independent of the punishment which 
draws our attention to it. The man of God, who 
prophesied against the altar in Bethel, is not to be 
regarded by the light of his last act, though a judg- 
ment followed it, but according to the general tenor 
of his life. Arius also must thus be viewed ; though, 
unhappily, his closing deed is but the seal of a pre- 
varicating and presumptuous career. 

Athanasius, who is one of the authorities from 
whom the foregoing account is taken, received it from 
Macarius, a presbyter of the Church of Constanti- 
nople, who was in that city at the time. He adds, 
*' while the Church was rejoicing at the deliverance, 
Alexander administered the communion in pious and 
orthodox form, praying with all the brethren and 
glorifying God greatly ; not as if rejoicing over his 
death, (God forbid ! for to all men it is appointed 
once to die,) but because in this event there was 
displayed somewhat more than a human judgment. 
For the Lord Himself, judging between the threats of 
the Eusebians and the prayer of Alexander, has in 
this event given sentence against the heresy of the 
Arians ; showing it to be unworthy of ecclesiastical 
fellowship, and manifesting to all, that though it have 
the patronage of Emperor and of all men, yet that by 
the Church itself it is condemned 2." 

' Epist.. ad Scrap. 4 




The death of Arius was productive of no important 

consequences in the history of liis party. They had 

never deferred to him as their leader, and since the 

Nicenc Council had even abandoned his creed. The 

toeoJc^ of the Eclectics had opened to Eusebius of 

t-ssarea a language less obnoxious to the Catholics 

^d to Constantine, than that into which he had been 

telraycd in Palestine ; while his namesake, possessing 

"^ Confidence of the Emperor, was enabled to wield 

"^"^-pons more decisive in the controversy than those 

""'cTi Arius had used. From that time Semi-Arianism 

''^ their profession, and calumny their weapon, 

""' the deposition, by legal process, of their Catholic 

^Pt*onents, This is the character of their proceedings 

*"*T A.D. 328 to A.D. 350; when circumstances led 

»T[i to adopt a third creed, and enabled them to 

tort it by open force. 


7'hc Eitscbians. 

It may at first sight excite our surprise, thai men 
who were so little careful to be consistent in their 
professions of faith, should be at the pains to find 
evasions for a test, which they might have subscribed as 
a matter of course, and then dismissed from their 
thoughts. But, not to mention the natural desire &f 
continuing an opposition to which they had once com- 
mitted themselves, and especially after a defeat, 
there is, moreover, that in religious mj'steries which is 
ever distasteful to secular minds. The mar\-eIloiis, 
which is sure to excite the impatience and resentment 
of the baffled reason, becomes insupportable when 
found in those solemn topics, which it would fain 
look upon, as necessary indeed for the uneducated, but 
irrelevant when addressed to those who are already 
skilled in the knowledge and the superficial decencies 
of virtue. The difficulties of science may be dis- 
missed from the mind, and virtually forgotten; tbc 
precepts of morality, imperative as they are, may be 
received with the condescension, and applied with th^ 
modifications, of a self-applauding refinement. But 
what at once demands attention, yet refuses to satislV 
curiosity, places itself above the human mind, imprinO 
on it the thought of Him who is eternal, and enforce* 
the necessity of obedience for its own sake. And 
thus it becomes to the proud and irreverent, what iht 
consciousness of guilt is to the sinner ; a sjiectK 
haunting the field, and disturbing the complacfOO'- 
of tlieir intellectual investigations. In this at IcaA 
throughout their changes, the Euscbians are coiw*- 
tent, — ill their hatred of the Sacred Myslcr/. 

The Eusebiaiis. 


It has sometimes been scornfuUy said, on the otlier 
Jiancl, ibat the zeal of Christians, in the discussion of 
theological subjects, has increased with the mystcrious- 
ness of the doctrine in dispute. There is no reason 
why wc should shrink from the avowal. Doubtless, 
^ Subject that is dear to us, does become more deeply 
fixed in our affections by its very peculiarities and 
incidental obscurities. We desire to revere what we 
already love; and we seek for the materials of reve- 
rence in such parts of it, as exceed our intelligence 
Or imagination. It should therefore excite our devout 
gratitude, to reficct how the truth has been revealed to 
Us in Scripture in the most practical manner; so as 
both to humble and to win over, while it consoles, those 
who really love it. Moreover, with reference to the 
particular mystery under consideration, since a belief 
in our Lord's Divinity is closely connected {how, it 
matters not) with deep religious feeling generally, — 
involving a sense both of our need and of the value 
of the blessings which He has procured for us, and 
an emancipation from the tyranny of the visible 
world,— it is not wonderful, that those, who would 
confine our knowledge of God to things seen, should 
dislike to hear of His true and only Image. If the 
unbeliever has attempted to account for the rise of the 
doctrine, by the alleged natural growth of a veneration 
for the Pei'son and acts of the Redeemer, let it at least 
be allowed to Christians to reverse the process of 
gtflr gument, and to maintain rather, that a low estima- 
[on of the evangelical blessings leads to unworthy 
inceptions of the Author of them. In the case of 
men it will show itself in a sceptical neglect of the 
ibject of religion altogether : while ecclesiastics, on 

274 ^^^ Eusedians. [chap. iv. 

whose minds religion is forced, are tempted either to 
an undue exaltation of their order, or to a creed dis- 
honourable to their Lord. The Eusebians adopted 
the latter alternative, and so merged the supremacy of 
Divine Truth amid the multifarious religions and 
philosophies of the world. 

Their skilfulness in reasoning and love of disputa- 
tion afford us an additional explanation of their per- 
tinacious opposition to the Nicene Creed. Though, in 
possessing the favour of the Imperial Court, they had 
already the substantial advantages of victory, they 
disdained success without a battle. They loved the 
excitement of suspense, and the triumph of victory. 
And this sophistical turn of mind accounts, not only 
for their incessant wranglings, but for their frequent 
changes of view, as regards the doctrine in dispute. 
It may be doubted whether men, so practised in the 
gymnastics of the Aristotelic school, could carefully 
develope and consistently maintain a definite view of 
doctrine ; especially in a case, where the difficulties of 
an unsound cause combined with their own habitual 
restlessness and levity to defeat the attempt. Ac- 
cordingly, in their conduct of the argument, they 
seem to be aiming at nothing beyond "living from 
hand to mouth," as the saying is ; availing themselves 
of some or other expedient, which would suffice to 
carry them through existing difficulties ; admissions, 
whether to satisfy the timid conscience of Constantius, 
or to deceive the Western Church ; or statements so 
faintly precise and so decently ambiguous, as to 
embrace the greatest number of opinions possible, and 
to deprive religion, ia consequence, of its austere and 
commandin<3; aspect 

The Eusebians. 

That I may not seem to be indulging in vague 
accusation, I here present the reader with a sketch of 
the lives of the chief of them ; from which he will be 
able to decide, whether the above explanation of their 
conduct is unnecessary or gratuitous. 

The most distinguished of the party, after Euse- 

bius himself, for ability, learning, and unscrupulousness, 

was Acacius, the successor of the other Eusebius in the 

see of Cassarea. He had been his pupil, and on his 

death inherited his library. Jerome ranks him among 

tile most learned commentatoi-s on Scripture. The 

Arian historian, Philostorgius, praises his boldness, 

penetration, and perspicuity in unfolding his views : 

and Sozomen speaks of his talents and influence as 

equal to the execution of the most difficult designs 3. 

He began at first with professing himself a Semi-Arian 

2fter the example of Eusebius, his master ; next, he 

''eeame the founder of the party, which will presently 

°^ described as the Homaaii or Scriptural ; thirdly, he 

joined himself to the Anomosans or pure Arians, so 

^cvcn to be the intimate associate of the wretched 

Actius ; fourthly, at the command of Constantius, he 

QCSerted and excommunicated him ; fifthly, in th*; 

'''■''gii of the Catholic Jovian, he signed the HomoUsion 

Or symbol of Nicjea. 

Oeorge, of Laodiciea, another of the leading mem- 
bers of the Eusebian party, was originally a presbyter 
*^' the Alexandrian Church, and deposed by Alexan- 
°*^'' for the assistance afforded by him to Arius at 
Nicoinedia. At the end of the reign of Constantius, 
''- professed for a while the sentiments of the Semi- 

tiether seriously or not, we have not the 

T z 

276 The Ettscbians. [cmap.iv^ 

means of deciding, although the character given othivtC^ 
by Athanasius, who is generally candid in his judg — ^ 
ments, is unfavourable to his sincerity. Certainly he ^ 
deserted the Semi-Arians in no long time, and died 
an Anomoean. He is also accused of open and 
habitual irregularities of life. 

Leontius, the most crafty of his party, was pro- 
moted by the Arians to the see of Antioch ^ ; and 
though a pupil of the school of Lucian, a^id consis- 
tently attached to the opinions of Arius throughout 
his life, he 5^eems to have conducted himself in his 
high position with moderation and good temper. The 
Catholic . party was at that time still strong in the 
city, particularly among the laity; the crimes of 
Stephen and Placillus, his immediate Arian predeces- 
sors, had brought discredit on the heretical cause ; 
and the theological opinions of Constantius, who was 
attached to the Semi-Arian doctrine, rendered it 
dangerous to avow the plain blasphemies of the first 
founder of their creed. Accordingly, with the view of 
seducing the Catholics to his own communion, he was 
anxious to profess an agreement with the Church, 
even where he held an opposite opinion ; and we are 
told that in the public doxology, which was practically 
the test of faith, not even the nearest to him in the 
congregation could hear from him more than the 
words " for ever and ever," with which it concludes. 
It was apparently with the same design, that he con- 
verted the almshouses of the city, destined for the 
reception of strangers, into seminaries for propagating 
the Christian faith ; and published a panegyrical 

* A stransre and scandalous transaction in early life, gave him thft 
applanation of 6 aToKoiro^ Athan. ad Monach. 4. 




account of St. Babylaa, when his body to be 
removed to Daphne, by way of consecrating a place 
which had been before devoted to sensual excesses. 
In the meanwhile, he gradually weakened the Church, 
by a systematic promotion of heretical, and a dis- 
countenance: of the ortliodox Clergy ; one of his most 
scandalous acts being his ordination of Aetius, the 
founder of the Anomceans, who was afterwards pro- 
iioted to the episcopacy in the reign of Julian. 

Eudoxius, the successor of Lcontius, in the see of 
A.ntioch, was his fellow-pupil in the school of Lucian. 
We is said to have been converted to Semi-Arianism 
fiy- the writings of the Sophist Asterius ; but he 
Si^terwards joined the Anomceans, and got possession 
<^r the patriarchate of Constantinople, It was there, 
^t the dedication of the cathedral of St. Sophia, that he 
ottered the wanton impiety, which has characterized 
*iim with a distinctness, which supersedes all historical 
notice of his conduct, or discussion of his religious 
Opinions. "When Eudoxius," says Socrates, "had 
taken his seat on the episcopal throne, his first words 
were these celebrated ones, ' the Father is aa-efftjv, 
irreligious ; the Son eyi7e;8^s, religious.' When a 
noise and confusion ensued, he added, 'Be not dis- 
tressed at what I say; for the Father is irreligious, as 
worshipping none; but the Son is religious towards the 
Father.' On this the tumult ceased, and in its place 
an intemperate laughter seized the congregation ; and 
-^ remains as a good saying even to this timeS." 

Hist. II. 43. [EuaiBila. iaiB"a, lua 
in ihe Innguage of .Alhannalu; or bis age, 
, orthodox, &[^ This circum=tantu gives il 
la tTBcealile to St. Paul's words, "Urcat 

2 78 The, Eusebians. I chap. iv. 

Valens, Bishop of Mursa, in Pannonia, shall close 
this list of Eusebian Prelates. He was one of the im- 
mediate disciples of Arius ; and, from an early age, the 
champion of his heresy in the Latin Church. In the 
conduct of the controversy, he inherited more of the 
plain dealing as well as of the principles of his master, 
than his associates ; he was an open advocate of the 
Anomoean doctrine, and by his personal influence 
with Constantius balanced the power of the Semi- 
Arian party, derived from the Emperor's private 
attachment to their doctrine. The favour of Con- 
stantius was gained by a fortunate artifice, at the time 
the latter was directing his arms against the tyrant 
Magnentius. " While the two armies were engaged 
in the plains of Mursa," says Gibbon, "and the fate of 
the two rivals depended on the chance of war, the son 
of Constantine passed the anxious moments in a 
church of the martyrs, under the walls of the city. 
His spiritual comforter Valens, the Arian Bishop of 
the diocese, employed the most artful precautions to 
obtain such early intelligence, as might secure either 
his favour or his escape. A secret chain of swift and 
trusty messengers informed him of the vicissitudes of 
the battle; and while the courtiers stood trembling 
around their affrighted master, Valens assured him that 

j^odliness (cuorcjScta?)," orthodoxy. Vide Athan. Opp. passim. Thus 
Arius also ends his letter to Eusebius with " dXi/^ai? cvo-c)8t€." And St. 
Basil, defending his own freedom from Arian error, says that St. Macrina, 
his grandmother, ** moulded him from his infancy in the dogmas of 
religion (cuo'cjSctas)," and that, when he grew up, and travelled, he 
ever chose those for his fathers and guides, whom he found walking 
according to *' the rule of religion (cvo-c)8cias) handed down.** Ep.204. 
6. Vide also, Basil. Opp. t. 2, p. 599. Greg. Naz. Orat. ii. 80. Euseb. 
cont. Marc. i. 7. Joan. Antioch. apud Facund. i. i. Sozomen, i. 20. as 
supr. note p. 140.] 

the Gallic legions gavp way; and insinuated, ivith 
some presence of mind, that the glorious event had 
been revealed to him by an Angel. The grateful 
Emperor ascribed his success to the merits and inter- 
cession of the Bishop of Mursa, whose faith had 
deserved the public and miraculous approbation of 
Heaven*," — — i 

Such were the leaders of the Eusebian or Court 
faction ; and on the review of them, do we not seem 
lo see in each a fresh exhibition of their great type 
and forerunner, Paulus, on one side or other of his 
character, though surpassing him in extravagance of 
conduct, as possessing a wider field, and more power- 
ful incentives for ambitious and energetic exertion ? 
We see the same accommodation of the Christian 
Creed to the humour of an earthly Sovereign, the 
same fertility of disputation in support of their version 
of it, the same reckless profanation of things sacred, 
the same patient dissemination of error for the 
services of the age after them ; and, if they are free 
from the personal immoralities of their master, they 
balance this favourable trait of character by the cruel 
and hard-hearted temper, which discovers itself in 
their pei-secution of the Catholics. 

This persecution was conducted till the middle of 
the century according to the outward forms of eccle- 
siastical law. Chaises of various kinds were preferred 
in Council against the orthodox prelates of the prin- 
, with a profession at least of regularity, 
itever inifairness there might be in the details of 

cipal see 

28o Tlie Eusebians. [chap. iv. 

the proceedings. By this me^s all the most power- 
ful Churches of Eastern Christendom, by the com- 
mencement of the reign of Constantius (A.D. 337), had 
been brought under the influence of the Arians ; Con- 
stantinople, Heraclea, Hadrianople, Ephesus, Ancyra, 
both Caesareas, Antioch, Laodicaea, and Alexandria. 
Eustathius of Antioch, for instance, had incurred their 
hatred, by his strenuous resistance to the heresy in 
the seat of its first origin. After the example of his 
immediate predecessor Philogonius, he refused com- 
munion to Stephen, Leontius, Eudoxius, George, and 
others ; and accused Eusebius of Caesarea openly of 
having violated the faith of Nicaea. The heads of the 
party assembled in Council at Antioch ; and, on 
charges of heresy and immorality, which they pro- 
fessed to be satisfactorily maintained, pronounced 
sentence of deposition against him. Constantine 
banished him to Philippi, together with a considerable 
number of the priests and deacons of his Church. 
So again, Marcellus of Ancyra, another of their in- 
veterate opponents, was deposed, anathematized, and 
banished by them, with greater appearance of justice, 
on the ground of his leaning to the errors of Sabellius. 
But their most rancorous enmity and most persever- 
ing efforts were directed against the high-minded 
Patriarch of Alexandria ; and, in illustration of their 
principles and conduct, the circumstances of his first 
persecution shall here be briefly related. 

When Eusebius of Nicomedia failed to effect the 
restoration of Arius into the Alexandrian Church by 
persuasion, he had threatened to gain his end by 
harsher means. Calumnies were easily invented 
against the man who had withstood his purpose : and 

Tlt£ Ensebians. 

'£ so happened, that wiSlins tools were found 
spot for conducting the attack. The Meletian sec- 
taries have already been noticed, as being the original 
associates of Ariiis ; who had troubled the Church by 
'slicing part in their schism, before he promulgated his 
ptijculiar heresy. They were called after Meletius, 
feishop of Lycopolis in the Thebaid; who, being 
cleposed for lapsing in the Dioclesian persecutio.n, 
Separated from the Catholics, and, propagating a 
Spurious succession of clei^ by his episcopal pre- 
»-ogative, formed a powerful body in the heart of the 
Egyptian Church. The Council of Niciea, desirous 
of terminating the disorder in the most temperate 
manner, instead of deposing the Meletian bishops, had 
arranged, that they should retain a nominal rank in 
the sees, in which they had respectively placed them- 
selves ; while, by forbidding them to exercise their 
episcopal functions, it provided for the termination of 
the schism at their death. But, with the bad fortune 
which commonly attends conciUatory measures, unless 
accompanied by such a display of vigour as shows 
that concession is but condescension, the clemency 
was forgotten in the restriction, which irritated, with- 
out repressing them ; and, being bent on the overthrow 
of the dominant Church, they made a sacrilice of their 
principles, which had hitherto been orthodox, and 
joined the Eusebians. By this intrigue, the latter 
gained an entrance into the Egyptian Church, as 
effectual as that which had already been opened to 
them, by means of their heresy itself, in Syria and 
Asia Minor'. 

die f 

KThe Melellans, on 1 

282 The Eusebians. [chap. iv. 

Charges against Athanasius were produced and ex- 
amined in Councils successively held at Caesarea and 
Tyre (a.D. 333—335) ; the Meletians being the ac- 
cusers, and the Eusebians the judge? in the trial. At 
an earlier date, it had been attempted to convict him 
of political offences ; but, on examination, Constantine 
became satisfied of. his innocence. It had been 
represented, that, of his own authority, he had 
imposed and rigorously exacted a duty upon the 
Egyptian linen cloth ; the pretended tribute being in 
fact nothing beyond the offerings, which pious persons 
had made to the Church, in the shape of vestments 
for the service of the sanctuary. It had moreover 
been alleged, that he had sent pecuniary aid to one 
Philumenus, who was in rebellion against the Em- 
peror; as at a later period they accused him of a 
design of distressing Constantinople, by stopping the 
corn vessels of Alexandria, destined for the supply of 
the metropolis. 

The charges brought against him before these 
Councils were both of a civil and of an ecclesiastical 
character ; that he, or Macarius, one of his deacons, 
had broken a consecrated chalice, and the holy table 
itself, and had thrown the sacred books into the fire ; 
next, that he had killed Arsenius, a Meletian bishop, 
whose hand, amputated and preserved for magical 
purposes, had been found in Athanasius's house. The 
latter of these strange accusations was refuted at the 
Council of Caesarea by Arsenius himself, whom Atha- 
nasius had gained, and who, on the production of a 

Athanasius, Constantine, true to his object of restoring tranquillity to 
the Church, while he banished Athanasius to Treves, banished also 
John, the leader of the Meletians, who had been forward in procuring his 


The Eusehians. 


human hand at the trial, presented himself before the 

I judges, thus destroying the circumstantial evidence by 

[which it was to be identified as his. The former 

kcharge was refuted at Tyre by the testimony of the 

■ Egyptian bishops ; who, after exposing the equivo- 

■i^ting evidence of the accuser, went on to prove that 

l^t the place where their Metropolitan was said to have 

rllbi'oken the chalice, there was neither church, nor altar, 

r.nor chalice, existing. These were the principal a!- 

rlegations brought against him ; and their cxtraordi- 

[ nary absurdity, (certain as the charges are as matters 

1 of history, from evidence of various kinds,) can only 

f "be accounted for by supposing, that the Eusebians 

I were even then too powerful and too bold, to care for 

much more than the bare forms of law, or to scruple 

at any evidence, which the unskilfulness of their 

Egyptian coadjutoi-s might set before them. A charge 

of violence in his conduct towards certain Meletians 

was added to the above ; and, as some say, a still 

L more frivolous accusation of incontinence, but whether 

f this was ever brought, is more than doubtful. 

C^sarea and Tyre were places too public even for 
Bi^c audacity of the Eusebians, when the facts of the 
Kcase were so plainly in favour of the accused. It was 
I410W proposed that a commission of inquiry should be 
f sent to the Marcotis, which was in the neighbourhood, 
Eand formed part of the diocese, of Alexandria, and 
I Was the scene of the alleged profanation of the sacred 
f. chalice: The leading members of this commission 
I were Valens and Ursacius, Theognis, Maris, and two 
I others, all Eusebians ; they took with them the chief 
I .accuser of Athanasius as their guide and host, leaving 
I.Athanasius and Macarius at Tyre, and refusing 

284 The Eusebians. [chap. iv. 

admittance into the court of inquiry to such of the 
clergy of the Mareotis, as were desirous of defending 
their Bishop's interests in his absence. The issue 
of such proceedings may be anticipated. On the 
return of the commission to Tyre, Athanasius was 
formally condemned of rebellion, sedition, and a 
tyrannical use of his episcopal power, of murder, 
sacrilege, and magic ; was deposed from the see of 
Alexandria, and prohibited from ever returning to 
that city. Constantine confirmed the sentence of the 
Council, and Athanasius was banished to GauL 

It has often been remarked that persecutions of 
Christians, as in St. Paul's case, " fall out rather unto 
the furtherance of the Gospel^. " The dispersion of the 
disciples, after the martyrdom of St. Stephen, intro- 
duced the word of truth together with themselves 
among the Samaritans ; and in the case before us, the 
exile of Athanasius led to his introduction to the 
younger Constantine, son of the great Emperor of 
that name, who warmly embraced his cause, and gave 
him the opportunity of rousing the zeal, and gaining 
the personal friendship of the Catholics of the West 
Constans also, another son of Constantine, declared in 
his favour ; and thus, on the death of their father, 
which took place two years after the Council of Tyre, 
one third alone of his power, in the person of the Semi- 
Arian Constantius, Emperor of the East, remained 
with that party, which, while Constantine lived, was 
able to wield the whole strength of the State against 

' Phil. i. IS* 

StcT. 1.] The Eusebians. 

the orthodox Bishops, The support of the Roman 
See was a Still more important advantage gained by 
Athanasius. Rome was the natural mediator between 
Alexandria and Antioch, and at that time possessed 
extensive influence among the Churches of the West. 
Accordingly, when Constantius re-commcnced the 
persecution, to which his father had been persuaded, 
the exiles betool< themselves to Rome ; and about the 
year 340 or 341 we read of Bishops from Thrace, 
Syria, Phcenicia, and Palestine, collected there, besides 
a multitude of Presbyters, and among the former, 
Athanasius himself, Marcellus, Asclepas of Gaza, and 
Luke of Hadrianoplc. The first act of the Roman 
See in their favour was the holding a provincial 
Council, in which the charges against Athanasius and 
Marcellus were examined, and pronounced to be 
untenable. And its next act was to advocate the sum- 
moning of a Council of the whole Church with the 
same purpose, referring it to Athanasius to select a 
place of meeting, where his cause might be secure 
of a more impartial hearing, than it had met with at 
CKsarea and Tyre. 

The Eusebians, on the other hand, perceiving the 
danger which their interests would sustain, should a 
Council be held at any distance from their own 
peculiar territory, determined on anticipating the 
projected Council by one of their own, in which they 
might both confirm the sentence of deposition against 
Athanasius, and, if possible, contrive a confession of 
faith, to ailay the suspicions which the Occidentals 
entertained of their orthodoxy^. This was the occa- 

c Count^ll, ihe Eascbiaiis did npl dare avow I' 
> lime, but merely allempied Ihg banishmen 

286 The Eusebians, [chap. iv. 

sion of the Council of the Dedication, as it is called, 
held by them at Antioch, in the year 341, and which 
is one of the most celebrated Councils of the century. 
It was usual to solemnize the consecration of places 
of worship, by an attendance of the principal prelates 
of the neighbouring districts ; and the great Church 
of the Metropolis of Syria, called the Dominicum 
Aureum, which had just been built, afforded both the 
pretext and the name to their assembly. Between 
ninety and a hundred bishops came together on this 
occasion, all Arians or Arianizers, and agreed without 
difficulty upon the immediate object of the Council, 
the ratification of the Synods of Caesarea and Tyre in 
condemnation of Athanasius. 

So far their undertaking was in their own hands ; 
but a more difficult task remained behind, viz., to gain 
the approval and consent of the Western Church, by 
an exposition of the articles of their faith. Not 
intending to bind themselves by the decision at 
Nicaea, they had to find some substitute for the Homo^ 
iision. With this view four, or even five creeds, more 
or less resembling the Nicene in language, were suc- 
cessively adopted. The first was that ascribed to the 
martyr Lucian, though doubts are entertained con- 
cerning its genuineness. It is in itself almost unex- 
ceptionable ; and, had there been no controversies 
on the subjects contained in it, would have been a 
satisfactory evidence of the orthodoxy of its promul-r 
gators. The Son is therein styled the exact Image 
of the substance, will, power, and glory of the 

Athanasius, and the restoration of Anus. Their first Council was A.D. 
341, four years after Constantine's death and Constantius's accession.**— 
Ath. Tr. vol. i. pp. 92, 93.] 

SECT. I,] The Eusebiams. 287 

Father ; and the Three Persons of tlic Holy Trinity 
are said to be three in substance, one in will'. An 
evasive condemnation was added of the Arian tenets ; 
sufficient, as it might seem, to delude the Latins, who 
were unskilled in the subtleties of the question. For 
instance, it was denied that our Lord was born " in 
time," but in the heretical school, as was shown above, 
time was supposed to commence with the creation of 
the world ; and it was denied that He was " in the 
number of the creatures," it being their doctrine, that 
He was the sole immediate work of God, and, as such, 
not like others, but separate from the whole creation, 
of which indeed He was the author. Next, for some 
or other reason, two new creeds were proposed, and 
partially adopted by the Council ; the same in char- 
acter of doctrine, but shorter. These three were all 
circulated, and more or less received in the neighbour- 
ing Churches ; but, on consideration, none of them 
seemed adequate to the object in view, that of recom- 
mending the Eusebians to the distant Churches of 
tlie West. Accordingly, a fourth formulary was drawn 
up after a few months' delay, among others by Mark, 
Bishop of Arethusa, a Semi-Arian Bishop of religious 
character, afterwards to be mentioned ; its composers 
were deputed to present it to Constans ; and, this 
creed proving unsatisfactory, a fifth confession was 
drawn up with considerable care and ability ; though it 
too failed to quiet tlie suspicions of the Latins. This 
last is called the Macrostich, from the number of its 
paragraphs, and did not make its appearance till three 
years after the former. 

^Bncc, or PCI9C 

Exai^ image. airnpaAAaiiTos 
or pci9aa, ^otrrao'ts. 

488) T^he Eusebians. [chap. iv. 

In truth, no such exposition of the Catholic faith 
could satisfy the Western Christians, while they were 
witnesses to the exile of its great champion on account 
of his fidelity to it. Here the Eusebians were wanting 
in their usual practical shrewdness. Words, however 
orthodox, could not weigh against so plain a fact. The 
Occidentals, however unskilled in the niceties of the 
Greek language, were able to ascertain the heresy of 
the Eusebians in their malevolence towards Athana- 
sius. Nay, the anxious attempts of his enemies, to 
please them by means of a confession of faith, were 
a refutation of their pretences. For, inasmuch as the 
sense of the Catholic world, had already been re- 
corded in the HomoiisioUy why should they devise 
a new formulary, if after all they agreed with the 
Church } or, why should they themselves be so fertile 
in confessions, if they had all of them but one faith } 
It is brought against them, by Athanasius, that in 
their creeds they date their exposition of the Catholic 
doctrine, as if it were something new, instead simply 
of its being declared, which was the sole design of the 
Nicene Fathers ; while at other times, they affected to 
acknowledge the authority of former Councils, which 
nevertheless they were indirectly opposing 2 Under 
these circumstances the Roman Church, as the repre- 
sentative of the Latins, only became more bent upon 
the convocation of a General Council in which the 
Nicene Creed might be ratified, and any innovation 
upon it reprobated ; and the innocence of Athanasius, 
which it had already ascertained in its provincial 
Synod, might be formally proved, and proclaimed to 
+he whole of Christendom. This object was at length 

• Aihan. dc Syn. 3. 37. 

SECT. I.] 

accomplished. Constans, whom Athaiiasius had visited 
and gained, successfully exerted his influence with his 
brother ConstarL^'ius, the Emperor of the East ; and a 
Council of the whole Christian world was summoned 
at Sardica for the above purposes, the exculpation of 
Marcelius and others being included with that of 

Sardica was chosen as the place of meeting, as lying 
on the confines of the two divisions of the Empire. It 
is on the borders of Mcesia, Thrace, and Illyricum, 
and at the foot of Mount Hsemus, whicli separates it 
from Philippopolis. There the heads of the Christian 
World assembled in the year 347, twenty-two years 
after the Niccne Council, in number above 380 
bishops, of whom seventy-six were Arian. The 
President of the Council was the venerable Hosius ; 
whoso name was in itself a pledge, that the decision 
of Nic^a was simply to be preserved, and no fresli 
question raised on a subject already exhausted by 
controversy. But, almost before the opening of the 
Council, matters were brought to a crisis ; a schism 
took place in its members ; the Arians retreated to 
Philippopolis, and there excommunicated the leaders 
of the orthodox, Julius of Rome, Hosius, and Pro- 
togencs of Sardica, issued a sixth confession of faith, 
and confirmed the proceedings of the Antiochene 
Council against Athanasius and the other exiles. 

This secession of the Arians arose in consequence 
of their f;;iding, that Athanasius was allowed a seat in 
the Council ; the discussions of which they refused 
tjo attend, while a Bishop took part in them, who )iad 

Idy been deposed by Synods of the Hast. The 
>dox replied, that a later Council, held at Rome, 

290 The Eusebians. [chap. iv. 

had fully acquitted and restored him ; moreover, that 
to maintain his guilt was but to assume the principal 
point, which they were then assembled to debate ; 
and, though very consistent with their absenting 
themselves from the Council altogether, could not be 
permitted to those, who had by their coming recog- 
nized the object, for which it was called. Accordingly, 
without being moved by their retreat, the Council 
proceeded to the condemnation of some of the more 
notorious opponents among them of the Creed of 
Nicaea, examined the charges against Athanasius and 
the rest, reviewed the acts of the investigations at Tyre 
and the Mareotis, which the Eusebians had sent to 
Rome in their defence, and confirmed the decree of 
the Council of Rome, in favour of the accused. Con- 
stans enforced this decision on his brother by the 
arguments peculiar to a monarch ; and the timid 
Constantius, yielding to fear what he denied to justice, 
consented to restore to Alexandria a champion of the 
truth, who had been condemned on the wildest of 
charges, by the most hostile and unprincipled of 

The journey of Athanasius to Alexandria elicited 
the fullest and most satisfactory testimonies of the 
real orthodoxy of the Eastern Christians ; in spite of 
the existing cowardice or misapprehension, which 
surrendered them to the tyrannical rule of a few 
determined and energetic heretics. The Bishops of 
Palestine, one of the chief holds of the Arian spirit, 
welcomed, with the solemnity of a Council, a resto- 
ration, which, under the circumstances of the case, was 
almost a triumph over their own sovereign ; and so 
excited was the Catholic feeling even at Antioch, that 

The Eussbiaits. 

Constantiiis feared to grant to the Athanasians a 
single Church in that city, lest it should have been 
the ruin of the Arian cause. 

One of the more important consequences of the 
Council of Sardica, was the public recantation of 
V'alens, and his accomplice Ursacius, Bishop of Singi- 
don, in Pannonia, two of t!ic most inveterate enemies 
and calumniators of Athanasius. It was addressed to 
the Bishop of Rome, and was conceived in the follow- 
ing terms : " Whereas we are known heretofore to 
have preferred many grievous charges against Athana- 
sius the Bishop, and, on being put on our defence by 
your excellency, have failed to make good our charges, 
wc declare to your excellency, in the presence of all the 
presbyters, our brethren, that all which we have hereto- 
fore heard against the aforesaid, is false, and altogether 
foreign to his character ; and therefore, that we heartily 
embrace the communion of the aforesaid Athanasius, 
especially considering your Holiness, according to 
your habitual clemency, has condescended to pardon 
our mistake. Further we declare, that, r.hould the 
Orientals at any time, or Athanasius, from resentful 
feelings, be desirous to bring us to account, that we 
will not act in the matter without your sanction. As 
for tlie heretic Arius, and his partisans, who say that 
*'Oncc ike Son ivas »oi," that "He is of created Sub- 
stance" and that "He is not the Son of God before ail 
time," we anathematize them now, and once for all, 
according to our former statement which we presented 
at Milan. Witnes;; our hand, that we condemn once 
for all the Arian heresy, as we have already said, and 
its advocates. Witness also the hand of Ursacius.— 
I, Ursacius the Bishop, have set my name to this 

.. A,-.l. com 


292 The Eusebians. [chap. iv. 

The Council of Milan, referred to in the conclusion 
of this letter, seems to have been held A.D. 347 ; two 
years after the Arian creed, called Macros' ic'i, was 
sent into the West, and shortly after the declaration 
of Constans in favour of the restoration of the Atha- 



5*HE events recorded in the last Section were attended 
by important consequences in the history of Arianisni. 
The Council of Sardica led to a separation between 
the Eastern and Western Churches ; which seemed to 
be there represented respectively by the rival Synods 
of Sardica and Philippopolis, and which had before 
this time hidden their differences from each other, and 
communicated together from a fear of increasing the 
existing evil'. Not that really there was any dis- 
cordance of doctrine between them. The historian, 
from whom this statement is taken, gives it at the 
same time as his own opinion, that the majority of the 
Asiatics were Homousians, though tyrannized over 
by the court influence, the sophistry, the importunity, 
and the daring, of the Eusebian party. This mcie 
handful of divines, unscrupulously pressing forward 
into the highest ecclesiastical stations, set about them 
to change the condition of the Churches thus put into 
their power ; and, as has been remarked in the case of 
■Leontius of Antioch, filled the inferior offices with 


' Soz, Hi. 13. 

294 '^^^ Semi- Avians, [chap. iv. 

their own creatures, and sowed the seeds of future 
discords and disorders, which they could not hope 
to have themselves the satisfaction of beholding. The 
orthodox majority of Bishops and divines, on the 
other hand, timorously or indolently, kept in the 
background ; and allowed themselves to be repre- 
sented at Sardica by men, whose tenets they knew to 
be unchristian, and professed to abominate. And in 
such circumstances, the blame of the open dissensions, 
which ensued between the Eastern and Western 
divisions of Christendom, was certain to be attributed 
to those who urged the summoning of the Council, 
not to those who neglected their duty by staying 
away. In qualification of this censure, however, the 
intriguing spirit of the Eusebians must be borne 
in mind ; who might have means, of which we are 
not told, of keeping away their orthodox brethren from 
Sardica. Certainly the expense of the journey was 
considerable, whatever might be the imperial or the 
ecclesiastical allowances for it 2, and their absence 

2 [On the cursits piihlicuSf vid. Gothofred. in Cod. Theod. viii. tit. 5, 
It was provided for the journeys of the Emperor, for persons whom he 
summoned, for magistrates, ambassadors, and for such private persons 
as the Emperor indulged in the use of it, which was gratis. The use 
was granted by Constantine to the Bishops who were summoned to 
Nica?a, as far as it went, in addition to other means of travelling. Euseb. 
v. Const, iii. 6. (though aliter Valesius in loc.) The cursits puhiicus 
brought the Bishops to the Council of Tyre. Ibid. iv. 43. In the con- 
ference between Liberius and Constantius (Thcod. Hist. ii. 13), it is 
objected that the cursus puhlicvs is not sufficient to convey Bishops to the 
Council, as Liberius proposes ; he answers that the Churches are rich 
enough to convey their Bishops as far as the seas. Thus St. Hilary was 
compelled (dattl evectionis copi&, Sulp. Sev. Hist. ii. 57) to attend at 
Seleucia, as Athanasius at Tyre. Julian complains of the abuse of the 
cursus piillicuSf perhaps with an allusion to these Councils of Constantius. 
Vide Cod, Theod. viii. tit. 5, 1. 12; where Gothofred quotes Liban. Epitaph. 

from their flocks, especially in an ngc fertile in Coun- 
cils, was an evil. Still tlierc is enough in the histoiy 
of the times, to evidence a culpable negligence on the 
part of the orthodox of Asia. 

However, this rupture between the East and West 
has here been noticed, not to censure the Asiatic 
Churches, but for the sake of its influence on the 
fortunes of Arianism. It had the eff'ect of pushing 
fonvard the Semi-Arians, as they arc called, into a 
party distinct from the Eusebian or Court party, 
among whom they had hitherto been concealed. 
This party, as its name implies, professed a doctrine 
approximating to the orthodox ; and thus served as a 
means of deceiving the Western Churches, which were, 
tmskilled in the evasions, by which the Eusebians 
extricated themselves from even the most explicit 
confessions of the Catholic doctrine. Accordingly, 
the six heretical confessions hitherto recounted were 
all Semi-Arian in character, as being intended more 
Dfless to justify the heretical party in the eyes of the 

itins. But when this object ceased to be feasible, 

ia Julian, (vol. i. p. 569, ed. Reiskc). Vktc the well-knovin passage of 
Ammianus, who speaks of (he Councils as being the ruin of the res vehi. 
cularia. Hist. XXi. 16. The Eusebians at Philippopolis say the aams, 
Itilat. Fragra. iii. IJ. The Emperor provided board and perhaps lodg'- 
■ng tifr ihe Bishops at Ariminum ; which the Bishops of Aquitaine,Gaul, 
atid Biitain declined, eicepl three British ftom povetl)'. Sulp.Hist. ii.s6. 
Hanineric in Africa, after assEmblIng 465 Bishops at Carthage, dismisseit 
them without mode of conveyance, provision, or baggage. Victor. Utic. 
IliST, iii. init. In the Empetur's ktler previous to the assembling of the 
sixth Ecumenical Conncil, a.d. 67H (Harduin. Cone. t. 3, p. 1043, liQ.)> 
he Hays he has given orJers for the conveyance and maintenance of its 
mtmbets. Pope JBhn VUI. reminds Ursus, Duke of Venice (*.n. 876), of 
ihesime duty of providing for the members of a Council, "secundum 
pios principes, qui in talibus munificil semper eiaiit intenti." Colet. 
Coiidl. n/en, 1730) t. li, p. 14,] 

296 The Semi-Arians [chap. iv. 

by the event of the Sardican Council, the Semi-Arians 
ceased to be of service to the Eusebians, and a separ- 
ation between the parties gradually took place. 


I'he Semi-Arians, whose history shall here be 
introduced, originated, as far as their doctrine is con- 
cerned, in the change of profession which the Nicene 
anathema was the occasion of imposing upon the 
Eusebians ; and had for their founders Eusebius of 
Caesarea, and the Sophist Asterius. But viewed as a 
party, they are of a later date 3. The genuine Euse- 
bians were never in earnest in the modified creeds, 
which they so ostentatiously put forward for the appro- 
bation of the West. However, while they clamoured in 
defence of the inconsistent doctrine contained in them, 
which, resembling the orthodox in word, might in fact 
subvert it, and at once confessed and denied our Lord, 
it so happened, that they actually recommended that 
doctrine to the judgment of some of their followers, 
and succeeded in creating a direct belief in an hypo- 
thesis, which in their own case was but the cloke for their 
own indifference to the truth. This at least seems the 
true explanation of an intricate subject in the history. 
There are always men of sensitive and subtle minds, 
the natural victims of the bold disputant ; men, who, 
unable to take a broad and common-sense view of an 
important subject, try to satisfy their intellect and 
conscience by refined distinctions and perverse reser- 
vations. Men of this stamp were especially to be 
found among a people possessed of the language and 

» [Vide Ath. Tr. vol. ii. pp. 282—286 ] 

SKCT. n.] The Semi-Arians. 

aciileness of the Greeks, Accordingly, the Euscbians 
at length perceived, doubtless to their surprise and 
disgust, that a party had arisen from among them- 
selves, with all the positivcness (as they would consider 
it), and nothing of the straightforward simplicity of the 
Catholic controversialists, more willing to dogmatize 
than to argue, and binding down their associates to the 
real import of the words, which they had themselves 
chosen as mere evasions of orthodoxy ; and to their 
dismay they discovered, that in this party the new 
Emperor himself was to be numbered. Constantiug, 
indeed, may be taken as a type of a genuine Semi- 
Arian ; resisting, as he did, the orthodox doctrine from 
over-subtlety, timidity, pride, restlessness, or other 
weakness of mind, yet paradoxical enough to combat 
at the same time and condemn all, who ventured to 
teach anything short of that orthodoxy. Balanced 
on this imperceptible centre between truth and error, 
he alternately banished every party in the controversy, 
not even sparing his own ; and had recourse in turn 
to every creed for relief, except that in which the 
truth was actually to be found. 

The symbol of the Semi-Arians was the //"owzflrtfj/OT/, 
"like in substance," which they substituted for the 
orthodox HomoHsion, "one in substance" or " consub- 
stantiair Their objections to the latter formula took 
the following form. If the word nsia, "substance" 
denoted the "first substance," or an individual being, 
then HoiHoiisios seemed to bear a Sabellian meaning, 
and to involve a denial of the separate personality of 
the Son ^. On the otlicr hand, if the word was under- 
stood as including two distinct Persons (or Hypostases), 
* Ejiipb. Hier. luiii. ii. (in. 

298 The Semi'Arians. [chap. iv. 

this was to use it, as it is used of created things ; as if 
by substance were meant some common nature, either 
divided in fact, or one merely by abstraction 5. They 
were strengthened in this view by the decree of the 
Council, held at Antioch between the years 260 and 
270, in condemnation of Paulus, in which the word 
Homousio7i was proscribed. They preferred, accord- 
ingly, to name the Son ''like in sub stance ^^^ or Homoe-^ 
iisioSy with the Father, that is, of a substance like in 
all things, except in not being the Father's substance; 
maintaining at the same time, that, though the Son 
and Spirit were separate in substance from the Father, 
still they were so included in His glory that there was 
but one God. 

Instead of admitting the evasion of the Arians, that 
the word Son had but a secondary sense, and that our 
Lord was in reality a creature, though " not Kke other 
creatures," they plainly declared that He was not a 
creature, but truly the Son, born of the substance 
(nsia) of the Father, as if an Emanation from Him at 
His will ; yet they would not allow Him simply to be 
God, as the Father was ; but, asserting that there were 
various energies in the Divine Being, they considered 
creation to be one, and the gennesis or generation to be 
another, so that the Son, though distinct in substance 
from God, was at the same time essentially distinct 
from every created nature. Or they suggested that 
He was the offspring of the Person (hypostasis)^ not of 
the substafice or nsia of the Father ; or, so to say, of 
the Divine Will, as if the force of the word ''Son " 
consisted in this point. Further, instead of the "ofice 

• Soz. iii. 18. 

ofioios KttT* ovvCav* 

SECT. It.] 

H£ was not," they adopted the "generated tiirm^art" 
for which even Arius had changed it. That is, as 
holding that the question of tlie beginning of the Son's 
existence was beyond our comprehension, tliey only 
asserted that there was such a beginning, but that it 
was before time and independent of it ; as if it were 
possible to draw a distinction between the Catholic 
doctrine of the derivation or ordet of;3uccession in the 
Holy Trinity (the " mtorigitiately generated") and tliis 
notion of a beginning simplified of the condition of 

Such was the Scmi-Arian Creed, really involving 
contradictions in terms, parallel to those of which the 
orthodox were accused ; — that the Son was born 
before all times, yet not eternal ; not a creature, yet 
not God ; of His substance, yet not the same in 
substance ; and His exact and perfect resemblance in 
all things, yet not a second Deity. 

Yet the men were better than their creed ; and it is 
satisfactory to be ablf to detect amid the impiety and 
ivorldliness of the heretical party any elements of a 
purer spirit, which gradually exerted itself and worhtd 
out from the corrupt mass, in which it was embedded. 
Even thus viewed as distinct from their political asso- 
ciates, the Semi-Arians are a motley party at best ; 
yet they may be considered as Saints and Martyrs, 
when compared with the Euscbiani, and in fact some 
of them have actually been acknowledged as such by 
the Catholics of subsequent times. Their zeal in 
detecting the humanitarianism of Marccllus and Pho- 
tinus, and thfir good service in withstanding the 

300 The Semi' Avians. [chap. iv. 

Anomoeans, who arrived at the same humanitarianism 
by a bolder course of thought, will presently be 
mentioned. On the whole they were men of correct 
and exemplary life, and earnest according to their 
views ; and they even made pretensions to sanctity 
in their outward deportment, in which they differed 
from the true Eusebians, whOj^as far as t he times 
allowed it, affegted the manners an3" principles of th e 
[wojld. It may be added, that both Athanasius and 
Hilary, two of the most uncompromising supporters 
of the Catholic doctrine, speak favourably of them. 
Athanasius does not hesitate to call them brothers 7 ; 
considering that, however necessary it was for the 
edification of the Church at large, that the Homoiision 
should be enforced on the clergy, yet that the privi- 
leges of private Christian fellowship were not to be 
denied to those, who from one cause or other stumbled 
at the use of it 8. It is remarkable, that the Semi- 
Arians, on the contrary, in their most celebrated 
Synod (at Ancyra, A.D. 358) anathematized the 
holders of the Homoiision, as if crypto-Sabellians 9 

Basil, the successor of Marcellus, in the see cf 
Ancyra, united in his person the most varied learning 
with the most blameless life, of all the Semi-Arians '. 
This praise of rectitude in conduct was shared with 
him by Eustathius of Sebaste, and Eleusius of Cyzicus. 
These three Bishops especially attracted the regard of 
Hilary, on his banishment to Phrygia by the intrigues 
of the Arians (a.d. 356). The zealous confessor feel- 

' [However, he is severe upon Eustathius and Basil (ad Ep. iE^. y.), 
as St. Basil is on the former, who had been his friend.] 

® Athan. de Syn. 41. • Epiph. supra. 

1 Theod. Hist. ii. 25. 

ingly laments the condition, in which he found the 
Churches in those parts. " I do not speak of things 
strange to me : " lie says, " I write not without know- 
ledge; I have heard and seeji in my own person the 
faults, not of laics merely, but of bishops. For, 
excepting Eleusius and a few with him, the ten pro- 
vinces of Asia, in which I am, are for the most part 
truly ignorant of God 2." His testimony in favour of 
the Semi-Arians of Asia Minor, must in fairness be 
considered as delivered with the same force of asser- 
tion, which marks his protest against all but them ; 
and he elsewhere addresses Basil, Eustathius, and 
Eleusius, by the title of " Sanctissimi viri V 

Mark, Bishop of Arcthusa, in Syria, has obtained 
from the Greek Church tiie honours of a Saint and 
Martyr. He indulged, indeed, a violence of spirit, 
which assimilates him to llie pure Arians, who were 
the first among Christians to employ force in the cause 
ofreligion. But violence, which endures as freely as it 
assails, obtains our respect, if it is denied our praise. 
His exertions in the cause of Christianity were 
attended with considerable success. In the reign of 
Constantius, availing himself of his power as a Chris- 
tian Bishop, he demolished a heathen temple, and 
built a church on its site. When Julian succeeded, it 
was Mark's turn to suffer. The Emperor had been 
saved by him, when a child, on the massacre of the 
other princes of his house ; but on this occasion he 
considered that the claims at once of justice and of 
paganism outweighed the recollection of ancient 

Hilar, dc Sjti. 63, 

Ibad. 90. ViA. also the Life of St. Basil of CicEjarca, who mai inti- 
tot a lime nith Eustathius and Dlbcis, 

302 The Semi'Arians. [chap. iv. 

services. Mark was condemned to rebuild the temple, 
or to pay the price of it ; and, on his flight from his 
bishoprick, many of his flock were arrested as his 
hostages. Upon this, he surrendered himself to his 
persecutors, who immediately subjected him to the 
most revolting, as well as the most cruel indignities. 
" They apprehended the aged prelate," says Gibbon, 
selecting some out of the number, " they inhumanly 
scourged him ; they tore his beard ; and his naked 
body, anointed with honey, was suspended, in a net, 
between heaven and earth, and exposed to the stings 
of insects and the rays of a Syrian sun^." The pay- 
ment of one piece of gold towards the rebuilding of 
the temple, would have rescued him from these 
torments ; but, resolute in his refusal to contribute to 
the service of idolatry, he allowed himself, with a 
generous insensibility, even to jest at his own suffer- 
ings 5, till he wore out the fury, or even, it is said, 
effected the conversion of his persecutors. Gregory 
Nazianzen, and Theodoret, besides celebrating his 
activity in making converts, make mention of his 
wisdom and piety, his cultivated understanding, his 
love of virtue, and the honourable consistency of his 
life 6 

Cyril of Jerusalem, and Eusebius of Samosata, are 
both Saints in the Roman Calendar, though connected 
in history with the Semi-Arian party. Eusebius was 
the friend of St. Basil, surnamed the Great ; and 
Cyril is still known to us in his perspicuous and 
eloquent discourses addressed to the Catechumens. 

Others might be named of a like respectability, 
though deficient, with those above-mentioned, either 

* Gibbon, Hist. ch. xxiii. * Soz. v. lo, 

• Tillem. Mem. vol. vii. p. 54a, 

SECT, n.j The Semi'ArhiHs. 

in moral or in mtcllectiial Judgment With these 
were mingled a few of a darker character. George of 
LaoJicea, one of the genuine Eusebians, joined them 
for a time, and took a chief share together with Basil 
in the management of the Council of Ancyra. Macc- 
doiiius, who was originally an Anomcean, passed 
through Semi-Arianism to the heresy of the Pneuma- 
tomachists. that is, the denial of the Divinity of the 
Holy Ghost, of which he is theologically the founder. 

The Semi-Arians, being such as above described, 
were at fii"st both in faith and conduct an ornament 
and recommendation of the Eusebians. But, when 
once the latter stood at variance with the Latin 
Church by the event of the Sardican Council, they 
C .'ased to be of sewice to them as a blind, which was 
no longer available, or rather were an incumbrance to 
them, and formidable rivals in the favour of Constan- 
tius. The separation between the two parties was 
probably retarded for a while by the forced submission 
and recantation of the Eusebian Valens and Ursacius ; 
but an event soon happened, which altogether released 
lliose two Bishops and the rest of the Eusebians from 
the embarrassments, in which the influence of the 
West and the timidity of Constantius had for the 
moment involved them. This was the assassination 
of the Catholic Constans which took place A.D. 350 ; 
in consequence of which (Constantine, the eldest of 
the brothers, being already dead) Constantius suc- 
ceeded to the undivided empire. Thus the Eusebians 
had the whole of the West opened to their ambition?; 

' [The Emcbiana, ot (lolitical parly, were renewed in the Acacians, 
iinmeiliately \u be nieiilii>ncd, Athanasius calliiig the lallci tlie heiis nf 

304 The Semi'Arians. [chap* iv. 

and were bound by no impediment, except such as 
the ill-instructed Semi-Arianism of the Emperor 
might impose iipon them. Their proceedings under 
these fortunate circumstances will come before us 
presently ; here I will confine myself to the mention 
of the artifice, by which they succeeded in recom- 
mending themselves to Constantius, while they op- 
posed and triumphed over the Semi-Arian Creed. 

This artifice, which, obvious as it is, is curious, from 
the place which it holds in the history of Arianism, 
was that of affecting on principle to limit confessions 
of faith to Scripture terms ; and was adopted by 
Acacius, Bishop of Caesarea, in Palestine, the successor 
of the learned Eusebius, one of the very men, who had 
advocated the Semi-Arian non-scriptural formularies 
of the Dedication and of Philippopolis 8. From the 
earliest date, the Arians had taken refuge from the 
difficulties of their own unscriptural dogmas in the 
letter of the sacred writers; but they had scarcely 
ventured on the inconsistency of objecting to the 
terms of theology, as such. But here Eusebius of 
Caesarea anticipated the proceedings of his party ; 
and, as he opened upon his contemporaries the 
evasion of Semi-Arianism, so did he also anticipate 
his pupil Acacius in the more specious artifice now 
under consideration. It is suggested in the apology 
whicli he put forth for signing the Nicene anathema 
of the Arian formulae ; which anathema he defends on 
the principle, that these formulae were not conceived 

the former, Hist. Arian. §§19 and 28 ; vid. also Ath. Tr. vol. ii. p. 28.) 
He ever distinguishes the Arians proper from the Eusebians (in his 
Ep. Enc. and Apol. Contr. Arian.), as afterwards the Anomoeans were 
to be dbtinguished from the Acacians.] 
» Athan. dc Syn. 36 — 38. 

SECT, n.] The Semi-Arians. 

in the language of Scripture 5. Allusion is made to 
the same principle from time to time in the subse- 
quent Arian Councils, as if even then the laxer Euse- 
bians were struggling against the dogmatism of the 
Semi-Arians. Though the Creed of Lucian intro- 
duces the "iisia,"the three other Creeds of the Dedi- 
cation omit it ; and this hypothesis of differences of 
opinion in the heretical body at tliese Councils partly 
accounts for that hesitation and ambiguity in declaring 
their faith, which has been noticed in its place. Again, 
the Macrostich omits the "usia," professes generally 
that the Son is "like in all things to iJie Father" and 
enforces the propriety of keeping to the language of 

About the time which is at present more particu- 
larly before us, that is, after the death of Constans, 
this modification of Arianism becomes distinct, and 
collects around it the Eastern Eusebians, under the 
skilful management of Acacius. It is not easy to 
fix the date of his openly adopting it ; the immediate 
cause of which was his quarrel with the Semi-Arian 
Cyril, which lies between A,n. 349 — 357. The distin- 
guishing principle of his new doctrine was adherence 
to the Scripture phraseology, in opposition to the 
inconvenient precision of the Semi-Arians ; its distin- 
fjuishing tenet is the vague confession that the Son is 
generally " like^' or at most " in all things like " tlie 
Father, — "like" as opposed to the "one in substance," 

»- Virt. also Theod. Hisi. \\. 3. [who (ells us that ihe objection of "un- 
wripluralncss'' had been suggested to Constantius by the Atian priest, 
fhe favourite of Constantia, to whom Consiantine had enirusted his will. 
Eusebius, in his Lettei about the Nicene Creed, does scarcely mnre than 
i;la.nce at this ubjectiun.] 

' Vid, Alhan. dc Synod. 

3o6 The Semi-Arians. [chap. iv. 

" like in substance^' and " imlike^,'^ — ^that is, the vague 
confession that the Son is generally like, or altogetlier 
likey the Father. Of these two expressions, the ^^ in all 
things like'' was allowed by the Semi-Arians, who in- 
cluded " in substance " under it ; whereas the Acacians 
(for so they may now be called), or Homoeans (as 
holding the Homceon or like)y covertly intended to ex- 
clude the ''in siibstance'' by that very expression, mere 
similarity always implying difference, and ''substance'* 
being, as they would argue, necessarily excluded from 
the " in all things^' if the " like " were intended to 
stand for any thing short of identity. It is plain then 
that, in the meaning of its authors, and in the prac- 
tical effect of it, this new hypothesis was neither more 
nor less than the pure Arian, or, as it was afterwards 
called, Anomoean, though the phrase, in which it 
was conveyed, bore in its letter the reverse sense. 

Such was the state of the heresy about the year 350 ; 
before reviewing its history, as carried on between the 
two rival parties into which its advocates, the Euse- 
bians, were dividing, the Semi-Arian and Homoean, I 
shall turn to the sufferings of the Catholic Church at 
that period. 

2 ofiOLOV or Kara Trayra ofiOLOV is the tenet of the Acacians or Ho- 
moeans, as opposed to Catholic ofioovariov, the Semi-Arian ofJLOLOvo'ioVy 
and the avofiotov of the Eunomians or Aetians. [St. Cyril, however^ 
adopts the Kara irdvTa o/xotov, as does DamascencJ 


Tf[E second Arian Persecution is spread over the 
space of about twelve years, being the interval 
between the death of Constans, and that of Constan- 
tius (A.D. 350 — 361). Various local violences, particu- 
larly at Alexandria and Constantinople, had occurred 
with the countenance of the Eusebians at an earlier 
date ; but they were rather acts of revenge, than 
intended as means of bringing over the Catholics, and 
were conducted on no plan. The chief sees, too, 
had been seized, and their occupants banished. But 
now the alternative of subscription or sutTering was 
ycncraily introduced ; and, though Arianism was 
more sanguinary in its later persecutions, it could not 
be more audacious and abandoned than it showed 
itself in this. 

The artifice of the Homceon. of which Acacius had 
undertaken the management, was adapted to promote 
the success of his party, among the orthodox of the 
West, as well as to delude or embarrass the Oriental 
Scmi-Arians, for whom it was particularly provided. 
The Latin Churches, who had not been exposed to 
those trials of heretical subtlety of which the Homo- 

3o8 The Aihanasiafis. [chap. iv. 

tision was reluctantly made the remedy, had adhered 
with a noble simplicity to the decision of Nicaea; being 
satisfied (as it would seem), that, whether or not they 
had need of the test of orthodoxy at present, in it lay 
the security of the great doctrine in debate, whenever 
the need should come. At the same time, they were 
naturally jealous of the introduction of such terms 
into their theology, as chiefly served to remind them 
of the dissensions of foreigners ; and, as influenced by 
this feeling, even after their leaders had declared 
against the Eusebians at Sardica, they were exposed 
to the temptation of listening favourably to the artifice 
of the ^^Homceon " or " like^ To shut up the subject 
in Scripture terms, and to say that our Lord was like 
His Father, no explanation being added, seemed to be 
a peaceful doctrine, and certainly was in itself unex- 
ceptionable ; and, of course would wear a still more 
favourable aspect, when contrasted with the threat of 
exile and poverty, by which its acceptance was 
enforced. On the other hand, the proposed measure 
veiled the grossness of that threat itself, and fixed the 
attention of the solicited Churches rather upon the 
argument, than upon the Imperial command. Minds 
that are proof against the mere menaces of power, 
are overcome by the artifices of an importunate 
casuistry. Those, who would rather have suflTered 
death than have sanctioned the impieties of Arius, 
hardly saw how to defend themselves in refusing 
creeds, which were abstractedly true, though incom- 
plete, and intolerable only because the badges of a 
prevaricating party. Thus Arianism gained its first 
footing in the West. And, when one concession was 
made, another was demanded ; or, at other time?^ thq 

SECT, ni.] The Athanasians. 309 

first concession was converted, not witliout specious- 
ness, into a principle, as allowing change altogether in 
theological language, as if to depart from the Homo- 
iislon were in fact to acquiesce in the open impieties 
of Arius and the Anomceans. This is the character 
of the history as more or less illustrated in this and 
the subsequent Section ; the Catholics being harassed 
by sophistry and persecution, and the Semi-Arians 
first acquiescing in the Homceon, then retracting, and 
becoming more distinct upon the scene, as the Euse- 
bians or Acacians ventured to speak of our Lord in 
less honourable terms. 

But there was another subscription, required of the 
Catholics during the same period and from an earlier 
date, as painful, and to all but the most honest minds 
as embarrassing, as that to the creed of the Homceon ; 
and that was the condemnation of Athanasius. The 
Eusebians were incited against him by resentment 
and jealousy ; they perceived tliat the success of their 
schemes was impossible, while a Bishop was on the 
scene, so popular at home, so respected abroad, the 
bond of connexion between the orthodox of Europe 
and Asia, the organ of their sentiments, and the guide 
and vigorous agent of their counsels. Moreover, the 
circumstances of the times had attached an adven- 
titious importance to his fortunes ; as if the cause of 
the Homoiision were providentially committed to his 
custody, and in his safety or overthrow, the triumph 
or loss of the truth were actually involved. And, in 
the eyes of the Emperor, the Catholic champion 
appeared as a rival of his own sovereignty ; type, as 
lie really was, and instrument of that Apostolic Order, 
which, whether or not united to tlie civil power, must. 

3IO The Atkanasians, [chap. iv. 

to the end of time, divide the rule with Caesar as the 
minister of God. Considering then Athanasius too 
great for a subject, Constantius, as if for the peace of 
his empire, desired his destruction at any rate^ 
Whether he was. unfortunate or culpable it mattered 
not ; whether implicated in legal guilt, or forced by 
circumstances into his present position ; still he was 
the fit victim of a sort of ecclesiastical ostracism, 
which, accordingly, he called upon the Church to 
inflict. He demanded it of the Church, for the very 
eminence of Athanasius rendered it unsafe, even for 
the Emperor, to approach him in any other way. The 
Patriarch of Alexandria could not be deposed, except 
after a series of successes over less powerful Catholics, 
and with the forced acquiescence or countenance of 
the principal Christian communities. And thus the 
history of the first few years of the persecution, 
presents to us the curious spectacle of a party warfare 
raging everywhere, except in the neighbourhood of 
the person who was the real object of it, and who was 
left for a time to continue the work of God at Alex- 
andria, unmolested by the Councils, conferences, and 
usurpations, which perplexed the other capitals of 

As regards the majority of Bishops who were called 
upon to condemn him, there was, it would appear, 
little room for error of judgment, if they dealt honestly 
with their consciences. Yet, in the West, there were 
those, doubtless, who hardly knew enough of him to 
give him their confidence, or who had no means of 
forming a true opinion of the fresh charges to which 
he was subjected. Those, which were originally 

^ Gibbon, Hist, ch, xxi. 

The Ai/ianasians. 

urged against him, have already been stated ; the new 
allegations were as follows : that he had excited 
differences between Constantius and his brother ; 
that he had corresponded with Magnentius, the 
usurper of the West ; that he had dedicated, or used, 
a new Church in Alexandria without the Emperor's 
leave; and lastly, that he had not obeyed his mandate 
summoning him to Italy. — Now to review some of the 
prominent passages in the persecution : — 

Paul had succeeded Alexander in the See of Con- 
stantinople, A.D. 336. At the date before us (A-D, 350), 
he had already been thrice driven from his Church by 
the intrigues of the Arians ; Pontus, Gaul, and Mesopo- 
tamia, being successively the places of his exile. He 
had now been two years restored, when he was called 
a fourth time, not merely to exile, but to martyrdom. 
By authority of the Emperor, he was conveyed from 
Con.stantinople to Cucusus in Cappadocia, a dreary 
town amid the deserts of the Taurus, afterwards the 
place of banishment of his successor St. Chrysostom. 
Here he was left for .six days without food ; when his 
conductors impatiently anticipated the termination of 
liis sufferings by strangling him in prison, Macedo- 
nius, the Scmi-Arian, took possession of the vacant 
see, and maintained his power by the most savage 
excesses. The confiscation of property, banishment, 
brandings, torture, and death, were the means of liis 
accomplishing in the Church of Constantinople, a con- 
formity with the tenets of heresy. The Novatians, as 
Kintaining the Homoiision, were included in the 
secution. On their refusing to communicate with 

312 The A thanastans. [chap, i v. 

him, they were seized and scourged, and the sacred 
elements violently thrust into their mouths. Women 
and children were forcibly baptized ; and, on the former 
resisting, they were subjected to cruelties too miserable 
to be described. 


The sufferings of the Church of Hadrianople 
occurred about the same time, or even earlier. Under 
the superintendence of a civil officer, who had already 
acted as the tool of the Eusebians in the Mareotis, 
several of the clergy were beheaded ; Lucius, their 
Bishop, for the second time loaded with chains and 
sent into exile, where he died ; and thiee other 
Bishops of the neighbourhood visited by nn Imperial 
edict, which banished them, at the peril of their lives, 
from all parts of the Empire. 


Continuing their operations westward, the Arians 
next possessed themselves of the province of Sirmium 
in Pannonia, in which the dioceses of Valens and 
Ursacius were situated. These Bishops, on the death 
of Constans, had relapsed into the heresy of his 
brother, who was now master of the whole Roman 
world ; and from that time they may be accounted as 
the leaders of the Eusebian party, especially in the 
West. The Church of Sirmium was opened to their 
assaults under the following circumstances. It had 
always been the policy of the Arians to maintain 
that the Homoiision involved some or other heresy by 
necessary consequence. A Valentinian or a Mani- 
chean materialism was sometimes ascribed to the 

SECT, in.] The Athanasians. 3 1 3 

orthodox doctrine ; and at another time, Sabellianism, 
which was especially hateful to the Scmi-Arians, And 
it happened, moat unhappily for the Church, that one 
of the most strenuous of her champions at Nic^ea, had 
since fallen into a heresy of a SabeJlian character; 
and had thus confirmed the prejudice against the true 
doctrine, by what might be talcen to stand as an 
instance of its dangerous tendency. In the course of 
a work in refutation of the Sophist Asterius, one of 
the first professed Semi-Arians, Marcellus, Bishop of 
Ancyra, was led to simplify (as he conceived) the 
creed of tlie Church, by statements which savoured 
of Sabellianism ; that is, he maintained tlie unity of 
the Son with the Father, at the expense of the doc- 
trine of the personal distinction between the Two. 
He was answered, not only by Asterius himself, but 
by Eusebius of Ca;sarea and Acaclus ; and, A.D. 335, he 
ivas deposed from his see by the Eusebians, in order 
to make way for the Scmi-Arian Basil. In spite of 
the suspicions against him, the orthodox party 
defended him for a considerable time, and the Coun- 
cil of Sardica (a.d 347) acquitted him and restored 
liim to his sec ; but at length, perhaps on account of 
the increasing deliniteness of his heretical views, he 
vas abandoned by his friends as hopeless, even by 
Athanasius, who quietly put him aside with the 
acquiescence of Marcellus himself. But the evil did 
not end there ; his disciple Photinus, Bishop of Sir- 
mium, increased the scandal, by advocating, and with 
greater boldness, an almost Unitarian doctrine. The 
Eusebians did not neglect the opportunity thus offered 
them, both to calumniate the Catholic teaching, and 
to seize on so coa^iderablc a see, which its present 

314 The Atka7tasians. [chai». iv. 

occupier had disgraced by his heresy. They held a 
Council at Sirmium (A.D. 351), to inquire into his 
opinions ; and at his request a formal disputation was 
held. Basil, the rival of Marcellus, was selected to be 
the antagonist of his pupil ; and having the easier 
position to defend, gained the victory in the judgment 
of impartial arbiters, who had been selected. The 
deposition of Photinus followed, and an Arian, Ger- 
minius, placed in his see. Also a new creed was 
promulgated of a structure between Homoeusian and 
Homoean, being the first of three which are dated 
from Sirmium. Germinius some years afterwards 
adopted a Semi-Arianism bordering upon the Catholic 
doctrine, and that at a time when it may be hoped 
that secular views did not influence his change, 

The first open attack upon Athanasius and the 
independence of the West, was made two years later 
at Aries, at that time the residence of the Court. 
There the Emperor held a Council, with the intention 
of committing the Bishops of the West to an overt act 
against the Alexandrian prelate. It was attended by 
the deputies of Liberius, the new Bishop of Rome, 
whom the Eusebian party had already addressed, 
hoping to find him more tractable than his predecessor 
Julius. Liberius, however, had been decided in Atha- 
nasius's favour by the Letter of an Egyptian Council ; 
and, in order to evade the Emperor's overtures, he 
addressed to him a submissive message, petitioning 
him for a general and final Council at Aquileia, 
a measure which Constantius had already led the 
Catholics to expect The Western Bishops at Aries, 

SECT. III.] The Afhanasians. 315 

on their part, demanded that, as a previous step to 
the condemnation of Athanasius, the orthodox Creed 
should be acknowledged by the Council, and Arius 
anathematized. However, the Eusebians carried their 
point ; Valcns followed up with characteristic violence 
the imperiousness of Constantius ; ill treatment was 
added, till the Fathers of the Council, worn out by 
sufferings, consented to depose and even excom- 
municate Athanasius. Upon this, an edict was 
published, denouncing punishment on all Bishops 
who refused to subscribe the decree thus obtained. 
Among the instances of cowardice, which were ex- 
hibited at Aries, none was more lamentable than that 
of Vincent of Capua, one of the deputies from Liberius 
to the Emperor. Vincent had on former occasions 
shown himself a zealous supporter of orthodoxy. He 
IS supposed to be the presbyter of the same name who 
was one of the representatives of the Roman Bishop 
at Nicsa ; he had acted with the orthodox at Sardica, 
and had afterwards been sent by Constans to Constan- 
tius, to effect the restoration of the Athanasians in 
jV.D. 348. It was on this occasion, tliat he and his 
companion had been exposed to the malice of 
Stephen, the Arian Bishop of Antioch; who, anxious 
to destroy their influence, caused a woman of light 
character to be introduced into their chamber, with 
the intention of founding a calumny against them ; 
and who, on the artifice being discovered, was deposed 
by order of Constantius. On the present occasion, 
Vincent was entirely in the confidence of Liberius ; 
who, liaving entrusted him with his delicate commis- 

Kn from a sense of his vigour and experience, was 
»]y afflicted at his fall. It is satisfactory to know, 
L . 

31 6 T/ie Athanasians^ [chap, iv, 

that Vincent retrieved himself afterwards at Ari- 
minum ; where he boldly resisted the tyrannical 
attempt of the Eusebians, to force their creed on the 
Western Church. 

Times of trial bring forward men of zeal and bold- 
ness, who thus are enabled to transmit their names to 
posterity. Liberius, downcast at the disgrace of his 
representative, and liable himself to fluctuations of 
mind, was unexpectedly cheered by the arrival of the 
famous Lucifer, Bishop of Cagliari, in Sardinia, and 
Eusebius of Vercellae. These, joined by a few others, 
proceeded as his deputies and advocates to the great 
Council of Milan, which was held by Constantius 
(A.D. 355), two years later than that in which Vincent 
fell. The Fathers collected there were in number 
above 300, almost all of the Western Church. Con- 
stantius was present, and Valens conducted the Arian 
manoeuvres ; and so secure of success were he and his 
party, that they did not scruple to insult the Council 
with the proposal of a pure Arian, or Anomcean, 

Whether this creed was generally subscribed, does 
not appear ; but the condemnation of Athanasius was 
universally agreed upon, scarcely one or two of the 
whole number refusing to sign it. This is remarkable ; 
inasmuch as, at first, the Occidentals demanded of the 
Eusebians an avowal of the orthodox faith, as the 
condition of entering upon the consideration of the 
charges against him. But herein is the strength of 
audacious men ; who gain what is unjust, by asking 
what is extravagant. So^omen attributes the con- 

SECT. III.] The AthuTiasiam. 317 

cession of the Council to fear, surprise, and ignorance'. 
In truth, a collection of men, who were strangers to 
each other, and without organization or recognized 
leaders, without definite objects or policy, was open to 
every variety of influence, which the cleverness of the 
usurping faction might direct against them. The 
simplicity of honesty, the weakness of an amiable 
temper, the inexperience of a secluded life, and the 
slowness of the unpractised intellect, all combined 
with their alarm at the Emperor's manifested dis- 
pleasure, to impel them to take part with his heresy. 
When some of them ventured to object the rule of the 
Church against his command, that they should con- 
demn Athanasius, and communicate with the Arians, 
" My will must ba its rule," he replied ; "so the Syrian 
Bishops have decided ; and so must yourselves, would 
you escape exile." 

Several of the more noble-minded prelates of the 
principal Churches submitted to the alternative, and 
left their sees. Dionysius, Exarch of Milan, was 
banished to Cappadocia or Armenia, where he died 
before the end of the persecution ; Auxentius being 
placed in his see, a bitter Arian, brought for the 
purpose from Cappadocia, and from his ignorance of 
Latin, singularly ill-fitted to preside over a Western 
province. Lucifer was sent off into Syria, and Euse- 
bius of Vercella; into Palestine. A fresh and more 
violent edict was published against Athanasius ; 
orders were given to arrest him as an impious person, 
ajid to put the Arians in possession of his churches, 
and of the benefactions, which Constantine had left 
for ecclesiastical and charitable uses. Ail Bishops 

^i for t 

3i8 The Athanasia7is. [chap. iv. 

were prohibited from communion with him, under 
pain of losing their sees ; and the laity were to be 
compelled by the magistrates to join themselves to 
the heretical party. Hilary of Poictiers was the next 
victim of the persecution. He had taken part in a 
petition, presented to Constantius, in behalf -of the 
exiled bishops. In consequence a Gallic Council was 
called, under the presidency of Saturninus, Bishop of 
Aries ; and Hilary was banished into Phrygia. 


The history of Liberius, the occupier of the most 
powerful see in the West, possesses an interest, which 
deserves our careful attention. In 356, the year after 
the Council of Milan, the principal eunuch of the Impe- 
rial Court had been sent, to urge on him by threats 
and promises the condemnation of Athanasius ; and, 
on his insisting on a fair trial for the accused, and a 
disavowal of Arianism on the part of his accusers, as 
preliminary conditions, had caused him to be forced 
away to Milan. There the same arguments were 
addressed to him in the more impressive words of the 
Emperor himself; who urged upon him "the noto- 
riously wicked life of Athanasius, his vexatious oppo- 
sition to the peace of the Church, his intrigues to effect 
a quarrel between the imperial brothers, and his fre- 
quent condemnation in the Councils of Eastern and 
Western Christendom ;" and further exhorted him, as 
being by his pastoral office especially a man of peace, 
to be cautious of appearing the sole obstacle to the 
happy settlement of a question, which could not 
otherwise be arranged. Liberius replied by demand- 
ing of Constantius even more than his own deputies 

SECT. m.J The Atkanasians, 319 

had proposed to the Milanese Council ; — first, that 
there should be a (general subscription to the Nicene 
faith throughout the Church ; next, that the banished 
bishops should be restored to their sees ; and lastly, 
should the trial of Athanasius be still thought advis- 
able, that a Council should be held at Alexandria, 
where justice might be fairly dealt between him and 
his accusers. The conference between them ended in 
Liberius being allowed three days to choose between 
making the required subscription, and going into exile; 
at the end of which time he manfully departed for 
Bercea, in Thrace. Constantius and the empress, 
struck with the nobleness of his conduct, sent after 
him a thousand pieces of gold ; but he refused a gift, 
which must have laid him under restraint towards 
heretical benefactors. Much more promptly did he 
reject the offer of assistance, which Eusebius, the 
eunuch be fore- mentioned, from whatever feeling, made 
him. " You have desolated the Churches of Christen- 
dom," he said to the powerful favourite, " and then 
you offer me alms as a convict. Go, first learn to be 
a Christian^," 

There are men, in whose mouths sentiments, such 
as these, are becoming and admirable, as being the 
result of Christian magnanimity, and imposed upon 
them by their station in the Church. But the sequel 
of the history shows, that in the conduct of Liberius 
there was more of personal fcehng and intemperate 
indignation, than of deep-seated fortitude of soul. 
His fall, which followed, scandalous as it is in itself, 
may yet be taken to illustrate the silent firmness of 
those others his fellow-sufferers, of whom wc hear less, 
• SoE. iv. II. Theud. Hisi. 11. 16. 

320 The Atkmtasians. [chap, iv, 

because they bore themselves more consistently. Two 
years of exile, among the dreaiy solitudes of Thrace, 
broke his spirit ; and the triumph of his deacon Felix, 
who had succeeded to his power> painfully forced 
upon his imagination his own listless condition, which 
brought him no work to perform, and no witness of 
his sufferings for the truth's sake. Demophilus, one of 
the foremost of the Eusebian party, was bishop of 
Beroea, the place of Liberius's banishment ; and gave 
intelligence of his growing melancholy to his own 
associates. Wise in their generation, they had an in- 
strument ready prepared for the tempter's office. 
Fortunatian, Bishop of Aquileia, who stood high in 
the opinion of Liberius for disinterestedness and 
courage, had conformed to the court-religion in the 
Arian Council of Milan ; and he was now employed 
by the Eusebians, to gain over the wavering prelate. 
The arguments of Fortunatian and Demophilus shall 
be given in the words of Maimbourg. " They told 
him, that they could not conceive, how a man of his 
worth and spirit could so long obstinately resolve to 
be miserable upon a chimerical notion, which subsisted 
only in the imagination of people of weak or no 
understanding : that, indeed, if he suffered for the 
cause of God and the Church, of which God had given 
him the government, they should not only look upon 
his sufferings as glorious, but, being willing to partake 
of his glory, they should also become his companions 
in banishment themselves. But that this matter related 
neither to God nor religion ; that it concerned merely 
a private person, named Athanasius, whose cause had 
nothing in common with that of the Church, whom the 
viblic voice had long since accused of numberless 

SECT. III.J The Athanasians. 321 

crimes, whom Councils had condemned, and who had 
been turned out of his see by the great Constantine, 
whose Judgment alone was sufficient to justify all that 
the East and West had so often pronounced against him. 
That, even if he were not so guilty as men made him, 
yet it was necessary to sacrifice him to the peace of 
the Church, and to throw him into the sea to appease 
the storm, which he was the occasion of raising ; but 
that, the greater part of the Bishops having condemned 
him, the defending him would be causing a schism, 
and that it was a very uncommon sight to see the 
Roman prelate abandon the care of the Church, and 
banish himself into Thrace, to become the martyr of 
one, whom both divine and human justice had so often 
declared guilty. That it was high time to undeceive 
himself, and to open his eyes at last ; to sec, whether 
it was not passion in Athanasius, which gave a false 
alarm, and opposed an imaginary heresy, to make the 
world believe that they had a mind to estabhsh 

The arguments, diffusively but instructively reported 
in the above extract, were enforced by the threat of 
death as the consequence of obstinacy; while, on the 
other hand, a temptation of a peculiar nature presented 
itself to the exiled bishop in his very popularity with 

le Roman people, which was such, that Constantius 
" already been obliged to promise them his restora- 
, Moreover, as if to give a reality to the induce-' 
ments by which he was assailed, a specific plan of 
mutual concession and concord had been projected, in 
which Liberius was required to take part. The 

* Webster's translalion is used : one or iwa irrelevant phrases, inim- 
dlKcI by Waimboutg on the subject of Koman supremacy, tici 



322 TJu Atkanasians. [chap. iv. 

Western Catholics were, as we have seen, on all occa- 
sions requiring evidence of the orthodoxy of the 
Euscbians, before they consented to take part with 
them against Athanasius. Constantius then, desirous 
of ingratiating himself with the people of Rome, and 
himself a Semi-Arian, and at that time alarmed at the 
increasing boldness of the Anomoeans, or pure Arians, 
presently to be mentioned, perceived his opportunity 
for effecting a general acceptance of a Semi-Arian 
creed ; and thus, while sacrificing the Anomoeans, 
whom he feared, to the Catholics, and claiming from 
the Catholics in turn what were scarcely concessions, 
in the imperfect language of the West, for realizing 
that religious peace, which he held to be incompatible 
with the inflexible orthodoxy of Athanasius. More- 
over, the heresies of Marcellus and Photinus were in 
favour of this scheme ; for, by dwelling upon them, he 
withdrew the eyes of Catholics from the contrary 
errors of Semi-Arianism. A creed was compiled from 
three former confessions, that of the orthodox Council 
against Paulus (a.d. 264), that of the Dedication 
(a.D. 341), and one of the three published at Sirmium. 
Thus carefully composed, it was signed by all parties^ 
by Libcrius 5, by the Semi-Arians, and by the Euse- 
bians ; the Eusebians being compelled by tlie Emperor 
to submit for the time to the dogmatic formulae, which 
they had gradually abandoned. Were it desirable to 
enlarge on this miserable apostasy, there are abundant 
materials in the letters, which Liberius wrote in renun- 
ciation of Athanasius, to his clergy, and to the Ariaa 

» [Vide supr. pp. 131. 294.323. There is much difference of opinion,, 
however, among writers, which was the cre^d which Libcrius signed!, 
vide Appendix, No. 3.] 

SECT, in.] The Aihanasttins. 323 

bishops. To Valens he protests, that nothing but his 
love of peace, greater than his desire of martyrdom 
itself, would have led him to the step which he had 
taken ; in another he declares, that he has but followed 
his conscience in God's sight^. To add to his misery, 
Constantius suffered him for a while to linger in exile, 
after he had given way. At length he was restored ; 
and at Ariminum in a measure retrieved his error, 
together with Vincent of Capua. 

The sufferings and trials of Hosius, whieh took place 
about the same time, are calculated to impress the 
mind with the most sorrowful feelings, and still more 
with a lively indignation against his inhuman perse- 
cutors. Shortly before the conference at Sirmitim, at 
which Liberius gave his allegiance to the supremacy 
of Semi-Ariaiiism, a creed had been drawn up in 
the same city by Valens and the other more daring 
members of the Eusebian body. It would seem, that 
at this date Constantius had not taken the alarm 
against the Anomceans, to the extent in which he felt 
it soon aflei^wards, on the news probably of their pro- 
ceedings in the East. Accordingly, the creed in ques- 
tion is of a mixed character. Not venturing on the 
Aiiomwon, as at Milan, It nevertheless condemns the 
use of the iisia (substance), Homoiision, and Homt£iision, 
on somewhat of the equivocal plan, of which Acacius, 
as I have said above, was t!ie most conspicuous jjatron ; 
and being such, it was presented for signature to the 
^r^ed Bishop of Corduba. The cruelty which they 

^B[:|l[iu. Fragm. iv, and vi. [T)ic .lulhorilj foi i-.-^^n.. La itry- iloiibLfuL] 

324 The Athanastans. [chap. iv. 

exercised to accomplish their purpose, was worthy of 
that singularly wicked faction which Eusebius had 
organized. Hosius was at this time loi years old ; 
and had passed a life, prolonged beyond the age of 
man, in services and sufferings in the cause of Christ. 
He had assisted in the celebrated Council of Elvira, 
in Spain (about the year 300), and had been distin- 
guished as a confessor in the Maximinian persecution. 
He presided at the General Councils of Nicaea and 
Sardica, and was perhaps the only Bishop, besides 
Athanasius, who was known and reverenced at once 
in the East and West. When Constantius became pos- 
sessed of the Western world, far from relaxing his zeal 
in a cause discountenanced at the Court, Hosius had 
exerted himself in his own diocese for the orthodox 
faith ; and, when the persecution began, endeavoured 
by letter to rouse other bishops to a sense of the con- 
nexion between the acquittal of Athanasius, and the 
maintenance of divine truth. The Eusebians were 
irritated by his opposition ; he was summoned to the 
Court at Milan, and, after a vain attempt to shake his 
constancy, dismissed back to his see. The importu- 
nities of Constantius being shortly after renewed, 
both in the way of threats and of promises, Hosius 
addressed him an admirable letter, which Athanasius 
has preserved. After declaring his willingness to 
repeat, should it be necessary, the good confession 
which he had made in the heathen persecution, he 
exhorts the Emperor to abandon his unscriptural 
creed, and to turn his ear from Arian advisers. He 
states his conviction, that the condemnation of Athan- 
asius was urged merely for the establishment of the 
heresy ; declares, that at Sardica his accusers had 

SECT, in.] The Alhanasians. 325 

been cliallenged publicly to produce the proof of their 
allegations, and had failed, and that he himself had 
conversed with them in private, and could gain nothing 
satisfactory from them ; and he further reminds Con- 
stantius, that Valens and Ursacius had before now 
retracted the charges, which they once urged against 
him. " Change your course of action, I beseech you," 
continues the earnest Prelate ; " remember that you 
are a man. Fear the day of judgment ; keep your 
hands clean against it ; meddle not with Church 
matters ; far from advising us about them, rather seek 
instruction from us. God has put dominion into your 
hands ; to us He has entrusted the management of 
the Church ; and, as a traitor to you is a rebel to the 
God who ordained you, so be afraid on your part, lest, 
usurping ecclesiastical power, you become guilty of a 
great sin. It is written, ' Render unto Ccesar, Cesar's, 
and what is God's, to God.' We may not bear rule ; 
you, O Emperor, may not burn incense. I write this 
Crom a care for your soul. As to your message, I 
remain in tlie same mind. I do not join the Arians. 
X anathematize them. I do not subscribe the condem- 
nation of Athanasius^." Hosius did not address such 
language with impunity to a Court, which affected the 
»najesty of oriental despotism. He was summoned tn 
Sirmium, and thrown into prison. There he remained 
lor a whole year. Tortures were added to force the 
old man from his resolution. He was scourged, and 
afterwards placed upon the rack. Mysterious it was, 
that so honoured a life should be preserved to an 
extremity of age, to become the sport and triumph of 

i Enemy of mankind. At length broken in spirit, 
' Alhan. Hist, Aiian. ad Monaeh. 44. 


326 The Athanasians. [chap. iv. 

the contemporary of Gregory and Dionysius^ was 
induced to countenance the impieties of the genera- 
tion, into which he had lived ; not indeed signing the 
condemnation of Athanasius, for he spurned that 
baseness to the last, but yielding subscription to a 
formulary, which forbad the mention of the Homousioft, 
and thus virtually condemned the creed of Nicaea, 
and countenanced the Arian proceedings. Hosius 
lived about two years after this tragical event : and, 
on his deathbed, he protested against the compulsion 
which had been used towards him, and, with his last 
breath, abjured the heresy which dishonoured his 
Divine Lord and Saviour. 


Meanwhile, the great Egyptian prelate, seated on his 
patriarchal throne, had calmly prosecuted the work, for 
which he was raised up, as if his name had not been 
mentioned in the Arian Councils, and the troubles, 
which agitated the Western Church, were not the 
prelude to the blow, which was to fall on himself. 
Untutored in concession to impiety, by the experience 
or the prospect of suffering, yet, sensitively alive to 
the difference between misbelief and misapprehension, 
while he punished he spared, and restored in the 
spirit of meekness, while he rebuked and rejected 
with power. On his return to Alexandria, seven years 
previous to the events last recorded, congratulations 
and professions of attachment poured in upon him 
from the provinces of the whole Roman world, near 
and distant. From Africa to lUyricum, and from 

• Vide supr. p. 125. 

SECT. HI.] The Athananans. ^2^ 

England to Palestine, 400 episcopal letters solicited 
his communion or patronage ; and apologies, and the 
officiousness of personal service were liberally tendered 
by those, who, through cowardice, dulness, or self- 
interest, had joined themselves to the heretical party. 
Nor did Athanasius fail to improve the season of 
prosperity, for the true moral strength and substantial 
holiness of the people committed to him. The sacred 
services were diligently attended ; alms and benefac- 
tions supplied the wants of the friendless and infirm ; 
and the young turned their thoughts to that generous 
consecration of themselves to God, recommended by 
St Paul in times of trouble and persecution. 

In truth the sufferings, which the Church of Alex- 
andria had lately undergone from the hands of the 
Eusebians, were sufficient to indispose serious minds 
towards secular engagements, or vows of duty to a 
fellow-mortal ; to quench those anticipations of quiet- 
ness and peace, which the overthrow of paganism had 
at first excited ; and to remind them, that the girdle 
of ccUbacy and the lamp of watchers best became 
those, on whom God's judgments might fall suddenly. 
Not more than ten years were gone by, since Gregory, 
appointed to the see of Athanasius by the Council of 
the Dedication 5, had been thrust upon them by the 
Imperial Governor, with the most frightful and revolt- 
ing outrages. Phiiagrius, an apostate from the 
Christian faith, and Arsacius, an eunuch of the Court, 
introduced the Euscbian Bishop into his episcopal 
city. A Church besieged and spoiled, the massacre 
of the assembled worshippers, the clergy trodden 

tat, the women subjected to the most infamous 
* Vid. supra, p. 2S6. 

328 Tfie AtJianasians. [chap. iv. 

profanations, these were the first benedictory greetings 
scattered by the Arian among his people. Next, 
bishops were robbed, beaten, imprisoned, banished; 
the sacred elements of the Eucharist were scornfully 
cast about by the heathen rabble, which seconded the 
usurping party ; birds and fruits were offered in sac- 
rifice on the holy table ; hymns chanted in honour of 
the idols of paganism ; and the Scriptures given to 
the flames. 

Such had already been the trial of a much-enduring 
Church ; and it might suddenly be renewed in spite of 
its present prosperity. The Council of Sardica, con- 
voked principally to remedy these miserable disorders, 
had in its Synodal Letter warned the Alexandrian 
Catholics against relaxing in the brave testimony they 
were giving to the faith of the Gospel. " We exhort 
you, beloved brethren, before all things, that ye hold 
the right faith of the Catholic Church. Many and 
grievous have been your sufferings, and many are the 
insults and injuries inflicted on the Catholic Church, 
but * he, who endureth unto the end, the same shall be 
saved.* Wherefore, should they essay further enor- 
mities against you, let affliction be your rejoicing. 
For such sufferings are a kind of martyrdom, and 
such confessions and tortures have their reward. Ye 
shall receive from God the combatant's prize. Where- 
fore struggle with all might for the sound fajth, and 
for the exculpation of our brother Athanasius, your 
bishop. We on our part have not been silent about 
you, nor neglected to provide for your security ; but 
have been mindful, and done all that Christian love 
requires of us, suffering with our suffering brethren, 
and accounting their trials as our own ^" 

^ Athan. Apol. cont. Arian. 3S* 


The time was now at hand, which was anticipated 
by the prophetic solicitude of the Sardican Fathers. 
The same year in which Hosius was thrown into 
prison, the furies of lieretical malice were let loose 
upon the Catholics of Alexandria. George of Cap- 
padocia, a man of illiterate mind and savage man- 
ners, was selected by the Eusebians as their new 
substitute for Athanasius in the see of that city ; 
and the charge of executing this extraordinary de- 
termination was committed to Syrianus, Duke of 
Egypt. The scenes which followed are but the re- 
petition, with more aggravated horrors, of the atro- 
cities perpetrated by the intruder Gregory. Syrianus 
entered Alexandria at night ; and straightway pro- 
ceeded with his soldiers to one of the churches, 
where the Alexandrians were engaged in the services 
of religion. We have the account of the irruption 
from Athanasius himself; who, being accused by the 
Arians of cowardice, on occasion of his subsequent 
flight, after defending his conduct from Scripture, 
describes the circumstances, under wliich he was 
driven from his Church. " It was now night," he says, 
"and some of our people were keeping vigil, as com- 
munion was in prospect ; when the Duke Syrianus 
suddenly came upon us, with a force of above 5000 
men, prepared for attack, with drawn swords, bows, 
darts, and clubs, . . . and surrounded the church with 
close parties of the soldiery, that none might escape 
from within. There seemed an impropriety in my 
deserting my congregation in such a riot, instead of 
hazarding the danger in their stead ; so I placed 
(yself in my bishop's chair, and bade the deacon read 
e Psalm (Ps. cxxxvi.). and the congregation alternate 

330 The Athanasians. |"chap. iv. 

* for His mercy endureth for ever/ and then all retire 
and go home. But the General bursting at length 
into the church, and his soldiers blocking up the 
chancel, with a view of arresting me, the clergy and 
some of my people present began in their turn clamor- 
ously to urge me to withdraw myself. However, I 
refused to do so, before one and all in the church were 
gone. Accordingly I stood up, and directed prayer 
to be said ; and then I urged them all to depart first, 
for that it was better that I should run the risk, than 
any of them suffer. But by the time that most of them 
were gone out, and the rest were following, the 
Religious Brethren and some of the clergy, who were 
immediately about me, ran up the steps, and dragged 
me down. And so, be truth my witness, though the 
soldiers blockaded the chancel, and were in motion 
round about the church, the Lord leading, I made my 
way through them, and by His protection got away 
unperceived ; glorifying God mightily, that I had 
been enabled to stand by my people, and even to send 
them out before me, and yet had escaped in safety 
from the hands of those who sought me^." 

The formal protest of the Alexandrian Christians 
against this outrage, which is still extant, gives a 
stronger and fuller statement of the violences attending 
it. "While we were watching in prayer," they say, 
" suddenly about midnight, the most noble Duke Syri- 
anus came upon us with a large force of legionaries, 
with arms, drawn swords, and other militarv weapons, 
and their helmets on. The prayers and sacred read- 
ing were proceeding, when they assaulted the doors, 
and, on these being laid open by the force of numbers, 

* Athan. Apol. de Fug. 24. 

SECT. ni.J The Atkanasians. 

lue gave the word of command. Upon which, some 
began to let fly their arrows, and others to sound a 
charge ; and there was a clashing of weapons, and 
swords glared against the lamplight. Presently, the 
sacred virgins were slaughtered, numbers trampled 
down one over another by the rush of the soldiers, 
and others killed by arrows. Some of the soldiers 
betook themselves to pillage, and began to strip the 
females, to whom the very touch of strangers was 
more terrible than death. Meanwhile, the Bishop sat 
on his throne, exhorting all to pray. . , . He was 
dragged down, and almost torn to pieces. He swooned 
away, and became as dead ; we do not know how he 
got away from them, for they were bent upon killing 
him 3." 

The first purpose of Athanasius on his escape was 
at once to betake himself to Constantius ; and he had 
begun his journey to him, when news of the fury, with 
ivhich the persecution raged throughout the West, 
changed his intention. A price was set on his head, 
and every place was diligently searched in the at- 
tempt to find him. He retired into the wilderness 
of the Thebaid, then inhabited by the followers of 
I'au] and Anthony, the first hermits. Driven at length 
thence by the activity of his persecutors, he went 
through a variety of strange adventures, which lasted 
for the space of six years, till the death of Con- 
stantius allowed him to return to Alexandria. 

His suffragan bishops did not escape a persecution, 

■which was directed, not against an individual, but 

against the Christian faitli. Thirty of them were 

banished, ninety were deprived of their churches ; and 

* Athan. Hisc Monach. 8i. 

332 The Athanasians. £chap. iv. 

many of the inferior clergy suffered with them. Sick- 
ness and death were the ordinary result of such hard- 
ships as exile involved ; but direct violence in good 
measure superseded a lingering and uncertain ven- 
geance. George, the representative of the Arians, led 
the way in a course of horrors, which he carried through 
all ranks and professions of the Catholic people ; and 
the Jews and heathen of Alexandria, sympathizing in 
his brutality, submitted themselves to his guidance, 
and enabled him to extend the range of his crimes in 
every direction. Houses were pillaged, churches were 
burned, or subjected to the most loathsome profana- 
tions, and cemeteries were ransacked. On the week 
after Whitsuntide, George himself surprised a congre- 
gation, which had refused to communicate with him. 
He brought out some of the consecrated virgins, and 
threatened them with death by burning, unless they 
forthwith turned Arians. On perceiving their con- 
stancy of purpose, he stripped them of their garments, 
and beat them so barbarously on the face, that for 
some time afterwards their features could not be dis- 
tinguished. Of the men, forty were scourged ; some 
died of their wounds, the rest were banished. This is 
one out of many notorious facts, publicly declared at 
the time, and uncontradicted ; and which were not 
merely the unauthorized excesses of an uneducated 
Cappadocian, but recognized by the Arian body as 
their own acts, in a state paper from the Imperial 
Court, and perpetrated for the maintenance of the 
peace of the Church, and of a good understanding 
among all who agreed in the authority of the sacred 

In the manifesto, issued for the benefit of the people 

SECT. III.] The Athanasians. 333 

of Alexandria (a.d. 356), the infatuated Emperor ap- 
plauds their conduct in turning from a cheat and 
impostor, and siding with those who were venerable 
men, and above all praise. "The majority of the 
citizens," he continues, " were blinded by the influence 
of one who rose from the abyss, darkly misleading 
those who seek the truth ; who had at no time any 
fruitful exhortation to communicate, but abused the 
souls of his hearers with frivolous and superficial dis- 
cussions. . . . That noble personage has not ventured 
to stand a trial, but has adjudged himself to banish- 
ment ; whom it is the interest even of the barbarians 
to get rid of, lest by pouring out his griefs as in a play 
to the first comer, he persuade some of them to be 
profane. So we will wish him a fair journey. But 
for yourselves, only the select few are your equals, or 
rather, none are worthy of your honours ; who are 
allotted excellence and sense, such as your actions 
proclaim, celebrated as they are almost in every place. 
, . . . You have roused yourselves from the grovelling 
I things of earth to those of heaven, the most reverend 
George undertaking to be your leader, a man of all 
others the most accomplished in such matters; under 
whose care you will enjoy in days to come honourable 
hope, and tranquillity at the present time. May all 
of you hang upon his words as upon a holy anchor, 
that any cutting and burning may be needless on our 
part against men of depraved souls, whom we seriously 
advise to abstain from paying respect to Athanasius. 
and to dismiss from their minds his troublesome 
garrulity ; or such factious men will find themselves 
involved in extreme peril, which perhaps no skill will 
be able to avert from them. For it were absurd 

334 '^^^^ Athanasians. [chap, iv, 

indeed, to drive about the pestilent Athanasius from 
country to country, aiming at his death, though he 
had ten lives, and not to put a stop to the extrava- 
gances of his flatterers and juggling attendants, such 
as it is a disgrace to name, and whose death has long 
been determined by the judges. Yet there is a hope 
of pardon, if they will desist from their former offences. 
As to their profligate leader Athanasius, he distracted 
the harmony of the state, and laid on the most holy 
men impious and sacrilegious hands*." 

The ignorance and folly of this remarkable document 
are at first sight incredible ; but to an observant mind 
the common experience of life brings sufficient proof, 
that there is nothing too audacious for party spirit to 
assert, nothing too gross for monarch or inflamed 
populace to receive. 

* Athan. Apol. ad Constant. 30. [Aug. 10, 1886. There is great 
reason for concluding that the documentary fragments used above and 
ascribed to St. Hilary and Liberius, pp. 322, 323, are not genuine. It i ; 
safer to confine ourselves to the following judgment of Bishop Hefele 
in his " Councils," vol. ii. pp. 245, 246, ed. 1875 : — 

** We therefore conclude without doubt that Liberius, yielding to 
force and sinking under many years of confinement and exile, signed the 
so-called third Sirmian formula, that is, the collection of older formulas 
of faith accepted at the third Sirmian Synod of 358. He did not do 
this without scruples, for the Semi-Arian character and origin of these 
formulas were not unknown to him ; but, as they contained no direct 
or express rejection of the orthodox faith, and as it was represented to 
him, on the other side, that the Nicene biioovaio^ formed a cloak for 
Sabellianism and Photinism, he allowed himself to be persuaded to 
accept the third Sirmian confession. But by so doing he only renounced 
the letter of the Nicene faith, not the orthodox faith itself."] 




It remains to relate the circumstances of the open 
disunion and schism between the Semi-Arians and 
the Anomceans. In order to set this clearly before 
the reader, a brief recapitulation must first be made of 
the history of the heresy, wiiich has been thrown into 
the shade in the last Section, by the narrative of the 
ecclesiastical events to which It gave occasion. 

The Semi-Arian school was the offspring of the 
ingenious refinements, under which the Eusebians 
<^onccaled impieties, which the temper of the faithful 
'■fciade it inexpedient for them to avow'. Its creed 
lireceded the party ; that Is, those subtleties, which 
■^■%-ere too feeble to entangle the clear intellects of the 
^*chool of Lucian, produced after a time their due 
^Srffect upon the natural subjects of them, viz. men who. 
'v.^ith more devotional feeling than the Arians, had less 
X^lai" sense, and a like deficiency of humility, A 
i'lalonic fancifuhicss made them the victims of an 
->^ristotelic subtlety ; and in the philosophising Euse- 
l^ius and the sophist Asterius, we recognize the 
^ippropriate inventors, though hardly the sincere dis- 
«:iples, of the new creed. For a time, the distinction 
between the Semi-Arians and the Eusebians did not 

' f'"' 


336 The Anomoeans. [chap, iv, 

openly appear ; the creeds put forth by the whole 
party being all, more or less, of a Semi-Arian cast, 
down to the Council of Sirmium inclusive (A.D. 351), 
in which Photinus was condemned. In the meanwhile 
the Eusebians, little pleased with the growing dogma- 
tism of members of their own body, fell upon the 
expedient of confining their confessions to Scripture 
terms ; which, when separated from their context, 
were of course inadequate to concentrate and ascertain 
the true doctrine. Hence the formula of the Homosoit; 
which was introduced by Acacius with the express 
purpose of deceiving or baffling the Semi-Arian mem- 
bers of his party. This measure was the more 
necessary for Eusebian interests, inasmuch as a new 
variety of the heresy arose in the East at the same 
time, advocated by Aetius and Eunomius ; who, by 
professing boldly the pure Arian tenet, alarmed Con- 
stantius, and threw him back upon Basil, and the 
other Semi-Arians. This new doctrine, called Ano- 
moean, because it maintained that the tisia or substance 
of the Son was unlike {avofiouos) the Divine iisia, was 
actually adopted by one portion of the Eusebians, 
Valens and his rude Occidentals ; whose language 
and temper, not admitting the refinements of Grecian 
genius, led them to rush from orthodoxy into the most 
hard and undisguised impiety. And thus the parties 
stand at the date now before us (A.D. 356 — 361) ; Con- 
stantius being alternately swayed by Basil, Acacius, 
and Valens, that is, by the Homoeiisian, the Homoean, 
and the Anomcean, — ^the Semi-Arian, the Scriptu- 
ralist, and the Arian pure ; by his respect for Basil and 
the Semi-Arians, the talent of Acacius, and his per- 
sonal attachment to Valens. 

SECT. IV.] The Anoiiicetiiis. 337 

Aetius, the founder of the Anomceans, is a remark- 
able instance of the struggles and success of a restless 
and aspiring mind under the pressure of difficulties. 
He was a native of Antioch ; his father, who had an 
office under the governor of the province, dying when 
he was a child, he was made the servant or slave of a 
vine-dresser. He was first promoted to the trade of a 
goldsmith or travelling tinker, according to the con- 
flicting testimony of his friends and enemies. Falling 
in with an itinerant practitioner in medicine, lie 
acquired so much knowledge of the art, as to pro- 
fess it himself; and, the further study of his new 
profession introducing him to the disputations of his 
more learned brethren, he manifested such acuteness 
and boldness in argument, that he was soon engaged, 
after the manner of the Sophists, as a paid advocate 
for such physicians as wished their own theories ex- 
hibited in the most advantageous form. The schools 
of Medicine were at that time infected with Arianism, 
3nd thus introduced him to the science of theology, as 
Well as that of disputation ; giving him a bias towards 
Jiercsy, which was soon after confirmed by the tuition 
of Paulinus, Bishop of Tyre. At Tyre he so boldly 
conducted the principles of Arianism to their legiti- 
mate results, as to scandalize the Eusebian successor of 
IPaulinus ; who forced him to retire to Anazarbus, and 
to resume his former trade of a goldsmith. The energy 
of Aetius, however, could not be restrained by the 
obstacles which birth, education, and decency threw in 
his way. He made acquaintance with a teacher of 
grammar ; and, readily acquiring a smattering of 

338 The Anomceans. [chap. iv. 

polite literature, he was soon enabled to criticise his 
master's expositions of sacred Scripture before his 
pupils. A quarrel, as might be expected, ensued ; and 
Aetius was received into the house of the Bishop of 
Anazarbus, who had been one of the Arian prelates at 
Nicaea. This man was formerly mentioned as one of 
the rudest and most daring among the first assailants 
of our Lord's divinity^. It is probable, however, that, 
after signing the Homousiojt, he had surrendered him- 
self to the characteristic duplicity and worldliness of 
the Eusebian party ; for Aetius is said to have com- 
plained, that he was deficient in depth, and, in spite of 
his hospitality, looked out for another instructor. Such 
an one he found in the person of a priest of Tarsus, 
who had been from the first a consistent Arian ; and 
with him he read the Epistles of St. Paul. Returning 
to Antioch, he became the pupil of Leontius, in the 
prophetical Scriptures ; and, after a while, put himself 
under the instruction of an Aristotelic sophist of 
Alexandria. Thus accomplished, he was ordained 
deacon by Leontius (A.D. 350), who had been lately 
raised to the patriarchal See of Antioch. Thus the 
rise of the Anomcean sect coincides in point of time 
with the death of Constans, an event already noticed 
in the history of the Eusebians, as transferring the 
Empire of the West to Constantius, and, thereby 
furthering their division into the Homcean and 
Homceusian factions. Scarcely had Aetius been 
ordained, when the same notorious irregularities in 
his carriage, whatever they were, which had more 
than once led to his expulsion from the lay com- 
munion of the Arians, caused his deposition from the 

■ [Vide supra, p. 239J 

iCT. IV.] 

The Anonwsans. 


tidiaconate, by the very prelate who had promoted him 
; After tliis, little is known of him for several 
s ; excepting a dispute, which he- held with the 
■ni-Arian Basil, which marks his rising importance. 
During the interval, he ingratiated himself with 
Gallus, the brother of Julian ; and was implicated in 
his political offences. Escaping, however, the anger 
F Constantius, by his comparative insiijMificance, he 
tired to Alexandria, and lived for some time in the 
i^in of George of Cappadocia, who allowed him to 
officiate as deacon. Such was at this time the cha- 
racter of the clergy, whom the Arians had introduced 
into the Syrian Churches, that this despicable adven- 

» hirer, whose manners were as odious, as his life was 
eccentric, and his creed blasphemous, had sufficient 
influence to found a sect, which engaged the attention 
of the learned Semi-Arians at Ancyra (a.d. 358), and 
lias employed the polemical powers of the orthodox 
Fathers, Basil and Gregory Nyssen. 

Eunomius, his disciple, was the principal disputant 
in the controversy. With more learning than Aetius, 
he was enabled to complete and fortify the Anomcean 
System, inheriting from his master the two peculiarities 
of character which belong to his school ; the first, a 
fskculty of subtle disputation and hard mathematical 
»"easoning, the second, a fierce, and in one sense an 
•ionest, disdain of compromise and dissimulation. 
These had been the two marks of Arianism at its 
ftist rise ; and the first associates of Arius, who, after 
l>is submission to Constantine, had kept aloof from 
tlig Court party in disgust, now joyfully welcomed 
and joined the Anomceans. The new sect justified anticipations of its boldness. The same im- 

340 The Anonioeans. [chap. iv. 

patience, with which Aetius had received the ambigu- 
ous explanations of the Eusebian Bishop of Anazar- 
bus, was expressed by Eunomius for the Acacianism 
of Eudoxius of Antioch, who in vain endeavoured to 
tutor him into a less real and systematic profession of 
the Arian tenets. So far did his party carry their 
vehemence, as even to re-baptize their Christian con- 
verts, as though they had been heathen ; and that, not 
in the case of Catholics only, but, to the great offence 
of the Eusebians, even of those, whom they converted 
from the other forms of Arianism^. Earnestness is 
always respectable ; and, if it be allowable to speak 
with a sort of moral catachresis, the Anomoeans 
merited on this account, as well as ensured, a success, 
which a false conciliation must not hope to obtain. 


The progress of events rapidly carried them forward 
upon the scene of ecclesiastical politics. Valens, who 
by this time had gained the lead of the Western 
Bishops, was seconded in his patronage of theni by 
the eunuchs of the Court ; of whom Eusebius, the- 
Grand Chamberlain, had unlimited sway over the 
weak mind of the Emperor. The concessions, made- 

' Epiph. Hser. Ixxvi. fin. Bingham, xi. i. § 10. [Thus, bold as were- 
the original Arians, the Anomoeans were bolder and more consistent. 
Athanasius challenges the former, if they dare, to speak out. Basil says- 
" Aetius was the first to teach openly that the Father's substance was un- 
like the Son's." Vide Ath. Tr. voL ii. pp. 34, 287—292 However^ 
Athanasius interprets Anus's Thalia to say that the Persons of the Holjr 

o.voyLOioi) each other in substance and glor^ 
wdthout limit." Orat. § 6. De Syn. § 15. Again, Arius held thaS 
the Divine Being was incomprehensible (Athan. de Syn. § 15), but ths 
Auomccans denied it. Socr. iv. 7. 1 

SECT. iv.J The Anomceans. 

by Liberius and Hosius to the Eusebian party, fur- 
nished an additional countenance to Arianism, being 
misrepresented as actual advances towards theheretical 
doctrine. The inartificial cast of the Western theology, 
which scarcely recognized any middle hypothesis 
between that of the Homoiision and pure Arianism, 
strengthened the opinion that those, who had aban- 
c3oned the one, must in fact have embraced the other, 
^nd, as if this were not enough, it appears that an 
Anomoean creed was circulated in the East, with the 
pretence that it was the very formula which Hosius 
and Liberius had subscribed. Under these circum- 
stances, the Anomceans were soon strong enough to aid 
the Eusebians of the East in their contest with the 
Semi-Arians*. Events in the Churches of Antioch and 
Jerusalem favoured their enterprise. It happening 
'hat Acacius of Csesarea and Cyril of Jerusalem were 
nVals for the primacy of Palestine, the reputed con- 
nexion of Cyril with the Semi-Arian party had the 
"^ft" ect of throwing Acacius, though the author of the 
*^omceon, on the side of its Anomcean assailants; 
Accordingly, with the aid of the neighbouring Bishops, 
•^e succeeded in deposing Cyril, and sending him out 
^T the country. At Antioch, the cautious Leontius, 
"'\.rian Bishop, dying {a.D. 357), the eunuchs of the 
^~^ ourt contrived to place Eudoxius in his see, a man of 
*~^:stless and intriguing temper, and opposed to tlie 
^iemi-Arians. One of his first acts was to hold a Coun- 
'^^il, at which Acacius was present, as well as Aetius and 
I^unomius, the chiefs of the Anomceans. There the 
Assembled Bishops did not venture beyond the lan- 
tjuagc of the second creed of Sirmium, which Hosius 
' Va\is. lom. ii. i. g, % b. [Tillcmom, 1. 6. p- *2o.] 


The Anomceans. 

[chap, n 

had signed, and which kept clear of Anomcean d 
trine ; but theyjiad no difficulty in addressing a lettef I 
of thanks antjpcongratulations to the party of the \ 
Anomcean Valers, for having at Simiium brought te \ 
troubles of the West to so satisfactory a terminatioBM 

The election, however, of Eudoxius, and this Coo 
cil which followed it were not to pass unchallengedfl 
the Semi-Arians. Mention has already been made 
one GeorgeS, a presbyter of Alexandria ; who, b 
among the earliest supporters of Arius, was deg 
by Alexander, but, being received by the EuseHll 
into the Church of Antioch. became at length Bish 
of Laodicea. George was justly offended at the p 
motion of Eudoxius, without the consent of him 
and Mark of Arethusa, the most considerable BislJ 
of Syria ; and, at this Juncture, took part against fl 
combination of Homoeans and Anomceans, at Antk 
who had just published their assent to the s 

creed of Sirmium. Falling in with some clo 

whom Eudoxius had excommunicated, he sent Icttoifl 
by them to Macedonius, Basil of Ancyra, and olhff [ 
leaders of the Semi-Arians, intreating them to raisea J 
protest against the proceedings of the Council fl 
Antioch, and so to oblige Eudoxius to separate h 
self from Aetius and the Anomceans. This i 
strancc produced its effect; and, under pretence I 
the dedication of a Church, a Council was immediatl 
held by the Scmi-Arian party at Ancyra (A.D. 35^)^ 
which the Anomcean heresy was condemned. 
Synodal letter, which they published, professed to8 
grounded on the Semi-Arian creeds of the DedicaCf 
(A.D. 341), of Philippopolis (A.D. 347), and of Sim" 

^^^^^^j'/ie Anomaans. 343 

^A-D. 35 1), when Photinus was condemned and deposed. 
2t is a valuable document, even as a defence of ortho- 
doxy ; its error consisting in its obstinate rejection of 
the Nicene Homoiision, the sole practical bulwark of 
the Catholic faith against the misrepresentations of 
heresy, — against a sort of tritheism on the one hand, 
and a degraded conception of the Son and Spirit on 
the other. 

The two parties thus at Issue, appealed to Constan- 
tius at Sirmium. That weak Prince had lately sanc- 
tioned the almost Acacian creed of Valcns. which 
Hosius had been compelled to subscribe, when the 
deputation from Antioch arrived at the Imperial 
Court ; and he readily gave his assent to the new 
edition of it which Eudoxius had promulgated. 
Scarcely had he done so, when the Semi-Arians 
made their appearance from Ancyra, with Basil at 
their head ; and succeeded so well in representing the 
dangerous character of the creed passed at Antioch, 
that, recalling the messenger who had been sent off to 
that city, he forthwith held the Conference, mentioned 
in the foregoing Section, in which he imposed a Semi- 
Arian creed on all parties, Eudoxius and Valens, the 
representatives of the Euscbians, being compelled, as 
well as the orthodox Libcrius, to sign a fonnulaiy, 
which Basil compiled from the creeds against Paulus 
of Samosata, and Photinus (a.d, 264. 351), and the 
creed of Lucian, published by the Council of the 
^_ Dedication (a.d. 341). Yet in spite of the learning, ^ 

^Lsnd personal respectability of the Semi-Arians, which J 

^^■At the moment exerted this strong influence over the H 

^^V.S)Ind of Constantius, the dexterity of the Eusebians fl 

^B in disputation and intrigue was ultimately successful. H 

344 ^'^^ Anomceans. [chap. iv. 

Though seventy Bishops of their party were im- 
mediately banished, these were in a few months rein- 
stated by the capricious Emperor, who from that time 
inclined first to the Acacian or Homcean, and then to 
the open Anomoean or pure Arian doctrine ; and who 
before his death (A.D. 361) received baptism from the 
hands of Euzoius, one of the original associates of 
Arius, then recently placed in the see of Antioch. — 
The history of this change, with the Councils attend- 
ing it, will bring us to the close of this chapter. 

The Semi-Arians, elated by their success with the 
Emperor, followed it up by obtaining his consent for 
an Ecumenical Council, in which the faith of the 
Christian Church should definitely be declared for 
good. A meeting of the whole of Christendom had 
not been attempted, except in the instance of the 
Council of Sardica, since the Nicene ; and the Sar- 
dican itself had been convoked principally to decide 
upon the charges urged against Athanasius, and not 
to open the doctrinal question. Indeed it is evident, 
that none but the heterodox party, now dominant, 
could consistently debate an article of belief, which 
the united testimony of the Churches of the East and 
West had once for all settled at Nicaea. This, then, 
was the project of the Semi-Arians. They aimed at 
a renewal on an Ecumenical scale of the Council of 
the Dedication at Antioch in A.D. 341. The Eusebian 
party, however, had no intention of tamely submitting 
to defeat. Perceiving that it would be more for their 
own interest that the prelates of the East and West 
should not meet in the same place (two bodies being 

. IV,] The Anomceans. 

more manageable than one), they exerted themselves so 
.strenuously with the assistance of the eunuchs of the 
lace, that at last it was determined, that, while the 
ientals met at Seleucia in Isauria, the Occidental 
Council should be held at Ariminum, in Italy. Next, 
a previous Conference was held at Sirmium, in order 
to determine on the creed to be presented to the 
bipartite Council ; and here again the Eusebians 
g:i.ied an advantage, though not at once to the 
extent of their wishes. Warned by the late indigna- 
tion of Constantius against the Anomoian tenet, they 
did not attempt to rescue it from his displeasure ; but 
they struggled for the adoption of the Acacia n 
JIoiiia'OH, which the Emperor had already both re- 
ceived and abandoned, and they actually effected 
the adoption of the "like in all things according to the 
Scriptures" — a phrase in which the Semi-Arians 
indeed included their "like in substance'" or Homw- 
iision, but which did not necessarily refer to substance 
or nature at all. Under these circumstances the two 
Councils met in the autumn of A.D. 359, under the 
nominal superintendence of the Semi-Arians ; but on 
the Eusebian side, the sharp-witted Acacius under- 
taking to deal with the disputatious Greeks, the 
overbearing and cruel Valens with the plainer Latins. 
About 160 Bishops of the Eastern Church assembled 
at Seleucia^, of whom not above forty were Eusebians. 
Far the greater number were professed Semi-Arians ; 
the Egyptian prelates alone, of whom but twelve or 
thirteen were present, displaying themselves, as at the 
first, the bold and faithful adherents of the Homoiision. 
It was soon evident that the forced reconciliation 

^H i[ was SOI 


[Viile .Mb. Tr. vol. i. p, 7S, notes B, 9 J 

346 The Anomceans. [chap. iv. 

which Constantlus had imposed on the two parties at 
Sirmium, was of no avail in their actual deliberations. 
On each side an alteration of the proposed formula 
was demanded. In spite of the sanction given by 
Basil and. Mark to the ^^ like in all things y' ^^ majority 
of their partisans would be contented with nothing 
short of the definite ^'like in snbsiance^' or Homceusion^ 
which left no opening (as they considered) to evasion ; 
and in consequence proposed to return to Lucian's 
creed, adopted by the Council of the Dedication. 
Acacius, on the other hand, not satisfied with the 
advantage he had just gained in the preliminary 
meeting at Sirmium, where the mention of the usia 
or substance was dropped (although but lately imposed 
by Constantius on all parties, in the formulary which 
Liberius signed), proposed a creed in which the 
Homoiision and Homceiision, were condemned, the 
Aiiomceon anathematized, as the source of confusion 
and schism, and his own Ho7nceo7t adopted (that is, 
''like,'' without the addition of ** in all things " ) ; and 
when he found himself unable to accomplish his pur- 
pose, not waiting for the formal sentence of deposition, 
which the Semi-Arians proceeded to pronounce upon 
himself and eight others, he set off to Constantinople, 
where the Emperor then was, hoping there, in the 
absence of Basil and his party, to gain what had been 
denied him in the preliminary meeting at Sirmium. 
It so happened, however, that his object had been 
effected even before his arrival ; for, a similar quarrel 
having resulted from the meeting at Ariminum, and 
deputies from the rival parties having thence similarly 
been despatched to Constantius, a Conference had 
already taken place at a city called Nice or Nicaea, in 


SECT. IV.] The Ariomceans. 

the neiglibourhood of Hadrianoplc, and an emendated 
creed adopted, in which, not only the safeguard of the 
''in all things" was omitted, and the usia condemned, 
but even the word Hypostasis (Subsistence or Person) 
also, on the ground of its being a refinement on 
Scripture. So much had been already gained by the 
influence of Valens, wlien the arrival of Acacius at 
Constantinople gave fresh activity to the Eusebian 

Thereupon a Council was summoned in the Imperial 
city of the neighbouring Dishops, principally of those 
of Bithynia, and the Acacian formula of Ariminum 
confirmed. Constantius was easily persuaded to 
believe of Basil, what had before been asserted of 
Athana-iius, that he was the impediment to the settle- 
riient of the question, and to the tranciuillity of the 
Church. Various charges of a civil and ecclesiastical 
nature were alleged against him and other Semi- 
Arians, as formerly against Athanasius, with what 
degree of truth it is impossible at this day to deter- 
mine ; and a sentence of deposition was issued against 
them. Cyril of Jerusalem, Eleusius of Cyzicus, Eusta- 
thius of Sebaste, and Macedonius of Constantinople, 
were in the number of those who suffered with Basil; 
Macedonius bemg succeeded by Eudoxius, who, thus 
seated in the first see of the East, became subsequently 
the principal stay of Arianism under the Emperor 

This triumph of the Eusebian party in the East, 
took place in the beginning of A.D. 360; by which 
lime the Council of Ariminum in the West, had been 
brought to a conclusion. To it wc must now turn our 

348 The Anomceans. [chap. iv. 

The Latin Council had commenced its deliberations, 
before the Orientals had assembled at Seleucia ; yet it 
did not bring them to a close till the end of the year. 
The struggle between the Eusebians and their oppo- 
nents had been so much the more stubborn in the 
West, in proportion as the latter were more numerous 
there, and further removed from Arian doctrine, and 
Valens on the other hand more unscrupulous, and 
armed with fuller powers. Four hundred Bishops 
were collected at Ariminum, of whom but eighty were 
Arians ; and the civil officer, to whom Constantius had 
committed the superintendence of their proceedings, 
had orders not to let them stir out of the city, till they 
should agree upon a confession of faith. At the 
opening of the Council, Valens, Ursacius, Germinius, 
Auxentius, Caius, and Demophilus, the Imperial 
Commissioners, had presented to the assembly the 
formula of the ^Hikein all things'^ agreed upon in the 
preliminary conference at Sirmium ; and demanded, 
that, putting aside all strange and mysterious terms 
of theology, it should be at once adopted by the 
assembled Fathers. They had received for answer, 
that the Latins determined to adhere to the formulary 
of Nicaea ; and that, as a first step in their present 
deliberations, it was necessary that all present should 
forthwith anathematize all heresies and innovations, 
beginning with that of Arius. The Commissioners 
had refused to do so, and had been promptly con- 
demned and deposed, a deputation of ten being sent 
from the Council to Constantius, to acquaint him with 
the result of its deliberations. The issue of this 
mission to the Court, to which Valens opposed one 
from his own party, has been already related. Con- 

Sect, iv.] The Anovtceans. 

stantius, with a view of wearing out the Latin Fathers, 
pretended that the barbarian war required his im- 
mediate attention, and delayed the consideration of 
the question till the beginning of October, several 
months after the opening of the Council ; and then, 
frightening the Catholic deputation into compliance, 
lie effi3cted at Nice the adoption of the Homcean creed 
(that is, the "like " without the "in all things ") and 
sent it back to Ariminum. 

The termination of the Council there assembled was 
disgraceful to its members, but more so to the Emperor 
himself. Distressed by their long confinement, impa- 
tient at their absence from their respective dioceses, 
and apprehensive of the approaching winter, they 
began to waver. At first, indeed, they refused to com- 
municate with their own apostate deputies ; but these, 
almost in self-defence, were active and successful in 
bringing over others to their new opinions, A threat 
was held out by Taurus, the Pr^torian Prefect, who 
superintended the discussions, that fifteen of the most 
obstinate should be sent into banishment ; and Valcns 
was importunate in the use of such theological argu- 
ments and explanations, as were likely to effect his 
object. The Prefect conjured them with tears to 
abandon an unfruitful obstinacy, to reflect on the 
length of their past confinement, the discomfort of 
their situation, the rigours of the winter, and to con- 
sider, that there was but one possible termination of 
the difficulty, which lay with themselves, not with 
him. Valens, on the other hand, affirmed that the 
Eastern bishops at Seleucia had abandoned the usia ; 
and he demanded of those who still stood their ground, 
w]iat objection they could make to the Scriptural 


350 The Anomceans. [chap. iv. 

creed proposed to them, and whether, for the sake of a 
word, they would be the authors of a schism between 
Eastern and Western Christendom. He affirmed, 
that the danger apprehended by the Catholics was 
but chimerical ; that he and his party condemned 
Arius and Arianism, as strongly as themselves, and 
were only desirous of avoiding a word, which con- 
fessedly is not in Scripture, and had in past time 
been productive of much scandal. Then, to put his 
sincerity to the proof, he began with a loud voice to 
anathematize the maintainers of the Arian blas- 
phemies in succession ; and he concluded by declaring, 
that he believed the Word to be God, begotten of God 
before all time, and not in the number of the creatures, 
and that whoever should say that He was a creature as 
other creatures, was anathema. The foregoing history 
of the heresy has sufficiently explained how the 
Arians evaded the force of these strong declarations ; 
but the inexperienced Latins did not detect their 
insincerity. Satisfied, and glad to be released, they 
gave up the HomousioHy and signed the formula of 
the Homoeon ; and scarcely had they separated, when 
Valens, as might be expected, boasted of his victory, 
arguing that the faith of Nicaea had been condemned 
by the very circumstance of his being allowed to 
confess, that the Son was " not a creature as other 
creatures," and so to imply, that, though not like 
other creatures, still He was created. Thus ended this 
celebrated Council ; the result of which is well cha- 
racterized in the lively statement of Jerome : " The 
whole world groaned in astonishment to find itself 
Arian 7." 

' [*' Ingemuit totus orbis, et Arianum se esse miratus est."l 

SECT. IV.] The Anommans, 351 

In the proceedings attenciaiit on llie Councils of 
Seleucia and Arinunum, the Eusebians had skilfully 
gained two important objects, by means of unim- 
portant concessions on their part. They had sac- 
rificed Aetius and his Anomaon; and effected in 
exchange the disgrace of the Semi-Arians as well as 
of the Catholics, and the establishment of the Homa'oii, 
the truly characteristic symbol of a party, who, as 
caring little for the sense of Scripture, found an ex- 
cuse and an indulgence of their unconcern, in a pre- 
tended maintenance of the letter. As to the wretched 
mountebank just mentioned, whose profaneness was so 
abominable, as to obtain for him the title of the 
** Atljeist," lie was formally condemned in the Council 
at Constantinople (A.D. 360) already mentioned, in 
which the Semi-Arian Basil, Macedonius, and their 
associates had been deposed. During the discussions 
which attended it, Eleusius, one of the latter party, 
laid before tlie Emperor an Anomcean creed, which 
he ascribed to Eudoxius. The latter, when questioned, 
disowned it ; and named Aetius as its author, who was 
immediately summoned. Introduced into the Imperial 
presence, he was unable to divine, in spite of his 
natural acuteness, whether the Emperor was pleased 
or displeased with the composition ; and, hazarding 
an acknowledgement of it, he drew down on himself 
the full indignation of Constantius, who banished him 
into Cilicia, and obliged his patron Eudoxius to 
anathematize both the confession in question, and all 
the positions of the pure Arian heresy. Such was 
the fall of Aetius, at the time of the triumph of the 
Eusebians ; but soon afterwards he was promoted to 
the episcopate (under what circumstances is unknown), 

352 Ttte A nomceans. [chap. iv. 

and was favourably noticed, as a former friend of 
Gallus, by the Emperor Julian, who gave him a terri- 
tory in the Island of Mitelene. 

Eunomius, his disciple, escaped the jealousy of Con- 
stantius through the good offices of Eudoxius, and was 
advanced to the Bishoprick of Cyzicus ; but, being 
impatient of dissimulation, he soon fell into disgrace, 
and was banished. The death of the Emperor took 
place at the end of A.D. 361 ; his last acts evincing a 
further approximation to the unmitigated heresy of 
Arius. At a Council held at Antioch in the course of 
that year, he sanctioned the Anomcean doctrine in its 
most revolting form ; and shortly before his decease, 
received the sacrament of baptism, as has been stated 
above, from Euzoius, the personal friend and original 
associate of Arius himself 8. 

" [*' At this critical moment Constantius died, when the cause of truth 
was only not in the lowest state of degradation, because a party was in 
authority and vigour who could reduce it to a lower still ; the Latins com- 
mitted to an Anti-Catholic creed, the Pope a renegade, Hosius fallen and 
dead, Athanasius wandering in the deserts, Arians in the sees of Christen- 
dom, and their doctrine growing in blasphemy, and their profession of it 
in boldness, everyday. The Emperor had come to the throne when almost 
a boy, and at this time was but forty-four years old. In the ordinary 
course of things, he might have reigned till orthodoxy, humanly 
speaking, was extinct.'' Ath. Tr. vol. L p. 121.] 




■fjIE accession of Julian was followed by a general 
^'^storation of the banished Bishops ; and all eyes 
*lnroiighout Christendom were at once turned towards 
-Alexandria, as the Church, which, by its sufferings 
^nd its indomitable spirit, had claim to be the arbiter 
c>f doctrine, and the guarantee of peace to the Catholic 
\vorld. Athanasius, as the story goes, was, on the 
tJeath of his persecutor, suddenly found on his episco- 
pal throne in one of the Churches of Alexandria' ; a 
legend, happily expressive of the unwearied activity 
and almost ubiquity of that extraordinaiy man, who, 
■while a price was set on his head, mingled unperceivcd 
in the proceedings at Scleucia and Ariminum^, and 
directed the movements of his fellow-labourers by his 

I Ckve, Ljfe orAthin. x. g. 
■ [This ii douliirul ; vide Montlaucon, Athan 
iiiblmi SHin to admit it.] 

oiigh Tillcmom a.»l 

354 1^^^^ Council of A lexaiidria. [chap, v- 

writings, when he was debarred the exercise of his dex — 
terity in debate, and his persuasive energy in private^» ~( 
conversation. He was soon joined by his fellow — ^'i^- 
exile, Eusebius of Vercellae ; Lucifer, who had jour — — 3*- 
neyed with the latter from the Upper Thebaid, on hi^^ is 
return to the West, having gone forward to Antioclr~ -Mlh 
on business which will presently be explained. Mean — -m.- 
while, no time was lost in holding a Council a^^^mt 
Alexandria (A.D. 362) on the general state of th^^ -le 

The object of Julian in recalling the banishec^^ -d 
Bishops, was the renewal of those dissensions, b ^^ «y 
means of toleration, which Constantius had en^^^-i- 
deavoured to terminate by force. He knew thes» -^E3e 
prelates to be of various opinions, Semi-Arian^s -•s, 
Macedonians, Anomoeans, as well as orthodox ; ancEn:^ di 
determining to be neuter himself, he waited with th- -^r--ie 
satisfaction of an Eclectic for the event ; being pen«: -r- 
suaded, that Christianity could not withstand th -^r^ie 
shock of parties, not less discordant, and far mor ^^g ^ r^ 
zealous, than the sects of philosophy. It is even sai^ i id 
that he "invited to his palace the leaders of the hostil -t -le 
sects, that he might enjoy the agreeable spectacl ^ =1^ 
of their furious encounters 3/' But, in indulging sucl^^^^^ 
anticipations of overthrowing Christianity, he 
displayed his own ignorance of the foundation o 
which it was built. It could scarcely be conceive 
that an unbeliever, educated among heretics, woul 
understand the vigour and indestructibility of the 
Christian spirit ; and Julian fell into the error, tn^Bto 
which in all ages men of the world are exposed, c^^^f 
mistaking whatever shows itself on thq surface of tl^^ ^^ 

- ' Gibbon, ch. xxiiu 

SECT, ij The Council of Alexandria. 


■Apostolic Community, its prominences and irrcgn- 
laritics, all that is extravagant, and all that is tran- 
sitory, for the real moving principle and life of the 
System. It is trying times alone that manifest the 
saints of God ; but they live notwithstanding, and 
support tlie Church in their generation, though they 
remain in their obscurity. In the days of Arianism, 
indeed, they were in their measure, revealed to the 
World ; still to such as Julian, they were unavoidably 
tinknown. both in respect to their numbers and their 
tlivine gifts. The thousand of silent believers, who 
vw'orshipped in spirit and in truth, were obscured by 
tJic tens and twenties of the various heretical factions, 
>vhose clamorous addresses besieged the Imperial 
Court ; and Athanasius would be portrayed to 
Julian's imagination after the picture of his own 
preceptor, the time-serving and unscrupulous Euse- 
bius. The event of his experiment refuted the 
cipinion which led to it. The impartial toleration of 
^1 religious persuasions, malicious as was its intent, 
did but contribute to the ascendancy of the right faith; 
that faith, which is the only true aliment of the 
Viuman mind, which can be held as a principle as well 
as an opinion, and which influences the heart to suffer 
.and to labour for its sake. 
W^ . Of the subjects which engaged the notice of the 
^^Klexandrian Council, two only need here be men- 
^Hponed ; the treatment to be pursued towards the 
"bishops, who had arianized in the reign of Constan- 
tius, and the settlement of the theological sense of 
;the word ii}'posiasis. And hei-e, of the former of 

356 The Cmincil of Alexandria. £chap. 


Instances have already occurred, of the line o 
conduct pursued by Athanasius in ecclesiastica. 
matters. Deliberate apostasy and systematic heres] 
were the objects of his implacable opposition ; but ii 
his behaviour towards individuals, and in his judg-' 
ment of the inconsistent, whether in conduct or cree 
he evinces an admirable tenderness and forbearanc< 
Not only did he reluctantly abandon his associat< 
the unfortunate Marcellus, on his sabellianizing, bur 
he even makes favourable notice of the Semi-Arian* 
hostile to him both in word and deed, who reject( 
the orthodox test, and had confirmed against hinr^^Em 

personally at Philippopolis, the verdict of the com ^- 

mission at the Mareotis. When bishops of his owi ^^" 
party, as Liberius of Rome, were induced to excom— -- 
municate him, far from resenting it, he speaks of their: -^^ 
with a temper and candour, which, as displayed ii 
the heat of controversy, evidences an enlarged pru- 
dence, to say nothing of Christian charity^. It is thi: 
union of opposite excellences, firmness with discrimi- 
nation and discretion, which is the characteristic 
praise of Athanasius : as well as of several of his 
predecessors in the See of Alexandria. The hundred- 
years, preceding his episcopate, had given scope ta^ 
the enlightened zeal of Dionysius, and the patient: 
resoluteness of Alexander. On the other hand, wheim- 
we look around at the other more conspicuous 
champions of orthodoxy of his time, much as w^ 
must revere and bless their memory, yet as regards 

^ Athan. de Syn. 41* Apol. contr. Arian. 89. Hist. Arian. ad Monadt<* 

Sect, i.] The Council of A iexandria. 357 

lhis maturity and completeness of character, they are. 
far inferior to Athanasius. The noble-minded Hilary 
was intemperate in his language, and assailed Con- 
stantiuswith an asperity unbecoming a dutiful subject. 
The fiery Bishop of Cagliari, exemplary as is his 
self-devotion, so openly showed his desire for martyr- 
dom, as to lead the Emperor to exercise towards him 
a contemptuous forbearance. Eusebius of VercellcC 
negotiated in the Councils, with a subtlety bordering 
on Arian insincerity. From these deficiencies of 
character Athanasius was exempt ; and on the occa- 
sion which has given rise to these remarks, he had 
especial need of the combination of gifts, which has 
made his name immortal in the Church. 

The question of the arianizing bishops was one of 
much difficulty. They were in possession of the 
Churches ; and could not be deposed, if at all, without 
the risk of a permanent schism. It is evident, more- 
over, from the foregoing narrative, how many had been 
"betrayed into an approval of the Arian opinions, 
■%vithoiit understanding or acting upon them. This 
'was particularly the case in the West, where threats 
and ill-usage, had been more or less substituted for 
those fallacies, which the Latin language scarcely 
admitted. And even in the remote Greek Churches, 
there was much ef that devout and unsuspecting 
simplicity, which was the easy sport of the super- 
cilious sophistry of the Eusebians. This was the case 
with the father of Gregory Nazianzen ; who, being 
persuaded to receive the Acacian confession of Con- 
stantinople (A.D. 359, 360), on the ground of its un- 
mixed scripturalness, found himself suddenly deserted 
by a large portion of his flock, and was extricated 

358 Tlie Ccuncil of A lexandria. [chap. V • 

•from the charge of heresy, only by the dexterity of hi-^ 
learned son. Indeed, to many of the Arianizin^§ 
bishops, may be applied the remarks, which Hilar^^ 
makes upon the laity subjected to Arian teaching 
that their own piety enabled them to interpret ex 
pressions religiously, which were originally invented 
evasions of the orthodox doctrine 5. 

And even in parts of the East, where a muc 
clearer perception of the difference between truth an 
error existed, it must have been an extreme difficulty 
to such of the orthodox as lived among Arians, t 
determine, in what way best to accomplish duties^ 
which were in opposition to each other. The sam< 
obligation of Christian unity, which was the apolo( 
for the laity who remained, as at Antioch, in com- 
munion with an Arian bishop, would lead to a similai 
recognition of his authority by clergy or bishops wh( 
were ecclesiastically subordinate to him. Thus CyriE 1 
of Jerusalem, who was in no sense either Anomoearc: — i 
or Eusebian, received consecration from the hands oi 
his metropolitan Acacius ; and St. Basil, sumam( 
the Great, the vigorous champion of orthodox) — ^ 
against the Emperor Valens, attended the Council ol 
Constantinople (A.D. 359, 360), as a deacon, in th< 
train of his namesake Basil, the leader of the Semi — 

On the other hand, it was scarcely safe to leave ther 
deliberate heretic in possession of his spiritual power- 
Many bishops too were but the creatures of the times, 
raised up from the lowest of the people, and deficient: 
in the elementary qualifications of learning and 

* " Sanctiores sunt aures plebis," he says, " qu2i.m corda saccrdotum.*^ 
Bull, Defens. epilog. [Vide infr. Appendix, No 5.] 

SKCT. I.] T//C Council af Alexandria. 359 

sobriety. Even those, who had but conceded to the 
violence of others, were the objects of a just suspicion; 
since, frankly as they now joined the Athanasians, 
they had already shown as much interest and reliance 
in the opposite party. 

Swayed by these latter considerations, some of the 
assembled prelates advocated the adoption of harsh 
measures towards the Arianizers, considering that 
their deposition was due both to the injured dignity 
and to the safety of the Catholic Church. Athanasius, 
however, proposed a more temperate policy; and his 
influence was sufficient to triumph over the excitement 
of mind which commonly accompanies a deliverance 
from persecution. A decree was passed, that such 
bishops as had communicated with the Arians through 
weakness or surprise, should be recognized in their 
respective sees, on their signing the Nicene formulary; 
but that those, who had publicly defended the heresy, 
should only be admitted to lay-communion. No act 
could evincemoreclearly than this, that it was no party 
interest, but the ascendancy of the orthodox doctrine 
itself, whicli was the aim of the Athanasians. They 
allowed the power of the Church to remain in the 
hands of men indifferent to the interests of themselves, 
on their return to that faith, which they had denied 
through fear ; and their ability to force on the Arian- 
izers this condition, evidences what they might have 
done, had they chosen to make an appeal against the 
more culpable of them to the clergy and laity of their 
respective churches, and to create and send out bishops 
to supply their places. But they desired peace, as 
soon as the interests of truth were secured ; and their 
magnanimous decision was forthwith adopted by 


360 The Council of Alexandria, [chap. v. •^ 

Councils held at Rome, in Spain, Gaul, and Achaia. •-:. 

; The state of Asia was less satisfactory. As to Antioch, ,^_ ., 

its fortunes will immediately engage our attention. ^. 

'Phrygia and the Proconsulate were in the hands of the ^s 

Semi-Arians and Macedonians ; Thrace and Bithynia, ,,^ 

controlled by the Imperial Metropolis, were the -^ 
stronghold of the Eusebian or Court faction. 


i 2. 

The history of the Church of Antioch affords an ^^ 
illustration of the general disorders of the East at this -^ 
period, and of the intention of the sanative measure -^s 
i passed at Alexandria respecting them. Eustathius, ,^:, 
its Bishop, one of the principal Nicene champions, had -K 
been an early victim of Eusebian malice, being 
deposed on calumnious charges, A.D, 331. A series 
of Arian prelates succeeded ; some of whom, Stephen, 
Leontius, and Eudoxius, have been commemorated in 
the foregoing pages 6. The Catholics of Antioch had 
disagreed among themselves, how to act under these 
circumstances. Some, both clergy and laity, refusing 
the communion of heretical teachers, had holden 
together for the time, as a distinct body, till the cause 
of truth should regain its natural supremacy ; while 
others had admitted the usurping succession, which 
the Imperial will forced upon the Church. When 
Athanasius passed through Antioch on his return from 
his second exile (A.D. 348), he had acknowledged the 
seceders, from a respect for their orthodoxy, and for 
the rights of clergy and laity in the election of a 
bishop. Yet it cannot be denied, that men of zeal 
and boldness were found among those who remained 

• Vide supra, p. 280. 

Sect, i.] The Council of Alexandria. 

in the Iieretical communion. Two laymen, Flavian 
and Diodorus, protested with spirit against the hetero- 
doxy of the crafty Leontius, and kept alive an ortho- 
dox party in the midst of the Eusebians. 

On the translation of Eudoxius to Constantinople, 
the year before the death of Constantius, ^n accident 
occurred, which, skilfully improved, might have healed 
the incipient schism among the Trinitarian:;. .Scarcely 
liad Meletius, the new Bishop of the Eiisebian party, 
taken possession of his see, when he conformed to the 
Catholic faith. History describes him as gifted with 
remarkable sweetness and benevolence of di.sposition. 
!Men thus characterized are often deficient in sensi- 
bility, in their practical judgment of heresy ; which 
they abhor indeed in the abstract, yet countenance in 
the case of their friends, from a false charitab'eness ; 
■which leads them, not merely to hope thn ocst, but to 
overlook the guilt of opposing the trulii, where the 
fact is undeniable. Meletius had been brought up ;"n 
the communion of the Eusebians ; a misfortune, in 
whicli nearly all the Oriental Christians of his day 
were involved. Being considered as one of their party, 
he had been promoted by them to the see of Sebaste, 
in Armenia ; but, taking oft'ence at the conduct of his 
flock, he had retired to Bercea, in Syria. During the 
residence of the Court at Antioch, A.D. 361, the 
election of the new prelate of that see came on ; and 
the choice of both Ariaiis and Arianizing orthodox 
fell on Meletius. Acacius was the chief mover in this 
business. He had lately^ succeeded in establishing 
the principle of liberalism at Constantinople, where a 
^Kdemnation had been passed on tJie use of words 

^B I Vidt supra, pp. 3+7, .i;o. 

362 The Council of Alexandria, [chap. v. 

not found in Scripture, in confessions of faith ; and he 
could scarcely have selected a more suitable instru- 
ment, as it appeared, of extending its influence, than a 
prelate, who united purity of life and amiableness 
of temper, to a seeming indifference to the distinctions 
between doctrinal truth and error. 

On the new Patriarch's arrival at Antioch, he was 
escorted by the court bishops, and his own clergy and 
laity, to the cathedral. Desirous of solemnizing the 
occasion, the Emperor himself had condescended to 
give the text, on which the assembled prelates were to 
comment. It was the celebrated passage from the 
Proverbs, in which Origen has piously detected, and 
the Arians perversely stifled, the great article of our 
faith ; " the Lord hath created [possessed] Me in the 
beginning of His ways, before His works of old." 
George of Laodicea, who, on the departure of Eudoxius 
from Antioch, had left the Semi-Arians and rejoined 
the Eusebians, opened the discussion with a dogmatic 
explanation of the words. Acacius followed with that 
ambiguity of language, which was the characteristic of 
his school. At length the new Patriarch arose, and to 
the surprise of the assembly, with a subdued manner, 
and in measured words, avoiding indeed the Nicene 
Homoilsion, but accurately fixing the meaning of his 
expressions, confessed the true Catholic tenet, so long 
exiled from the throne and altars of Antioch. A 
scene followed, such as might be expected from the 
excitable temper of the Orientals. The congregation 
received his discourse with shouts of joy ; while the 
Arian archdeacon of the church running up, placed his 
hand before his mouth to prevent his speaking ; on 
which Meletius thrust out his hand in sight of the 

^HcT. I.] The Coiincil of Alexandria. 363 

people, and raising first three fingers, and then one, 
symboHzcd the great truth which he ivns unable to 
utterS. The consequences of this bold confession 
might be expected. Meletiiis was banished, and a 
fresh Bishop appointed, Euzoius, the friend of Arius, 
But an important advantage resulted to the orthodox 
cause by this occurrence ; Catholics and heretics were 
no longer united in one communion, the latter being 
thrown into the position of schismatics, who had 
rejected their own bishop. Such was the state of 
things, when the death of Constantius occasioned the 
j-etum of Meletius, and the convocation of the Council 
of Alexandria, in which his case was considered. 

The course to be pursued in this matter by the 
general Church was evident. There were now in 
^ntioch, besides the heretical party, two communions 
jirofessing orthodoxy, of which what may be called 
■*he Protestant body was without a head, Eustathius 
laving died some years before. It was the obvious 
^uty of the Council, to recommend the Eustathians 
to recognize Meletius, and to join in his communion, 
^vhatever original intrusion there might be in the 
«piscopal succession from which he received his Orders, 
and whatever might have been his own previous errors 
of doctrine. The general principle of restoration, 
which they had made the rule of their conduct towards 
the Arianizers, !ed them to this. Accordingly, a com- 
mission was appointed to proceed to Antioch, and to 
exert their endeavours to bring the dissension to a 
happy termination. 

' Their charitable intentions, however, had been 
ready f™5trated by the unfortunate interference of 


64 Tlie Couiuil of Alexandria, [chap. v. 

Lucifer. This Latin Bishop, strenuous in contending 
for the faith, had little of the knowledge of human 
nature, or of the dexterity in negotiation, necessary 
for the management of so delicate a point as that 
which he had taken upon himself to settle. He had 
gone straight to Antioch, when Eusebius of Vercella 
proceeded to Alexandria ; and, on the Alexandrian 
commission arriving at the former city, the mischief 
was done, and the mediation ineffectual. Indulging, 
instead of overcoming, the natural reluctance of the 
Eustathians to submit to Meletius, Lucifer had been 
induced, with the assistance of two others, to conse- 
crate a separate head for their communion, and by so 
doing re-animate a dissension, which had run its 
course and was dying of itself. The result of this 
indiscretion was the rise of an additional, instead of 
the termination of the existing schism. Eusebius, 
who was at the head of the commission, retired from 
Antioch in disgust. Lucifer, offended at becoming 
the object of censure, separated first from Eusebius, 
and at length from all who acknowledged the conform- 
ing Arianizers. He founded a sect, which was called 
after his name, and lasted about fifty years. 

As to the schism at Antioch, it was not terminated 
till the time of Chrysostom about the end of the 
century. Athanasius and the Egyptian Churches 
continued in communion with the Eustathians. 
Much as they had desired and exerted themselves 
for a reconciliation between the parties, they could 
not but recognize, while it existed, that body which 
had all along suffered and laboured with themselves. 
And certainly the intercourse, which Meletius held 
with the unprincipled Acacius, in the Antiochene 

SECT. T.] The Council of Alexandria. 


UTouncil the followiiig year, and his refusal to c 
nicate with Athanasius, were not adapted to make 
them repent their determination^. The Occidentals 
snd the Churches of Cyprus followed their example. 
The Eastern Christians, on the contrary, having for 
the most part themselves arianized, took part with 
the Meletians. At length St. Chrysostom successfully 
exerted his influence with the Egyptian and Western 
Catholics in behalf of Flavian, the successor of Me!e- 
tius ; a prelate, it must be admitted, not blameless in 
the ecclesiastical quarrel, though he had acted a bold 
part with Diodorus, afterwards Bishop of Tarsus, in 
resisting the insidious attempts of Leontius to secu- 
larize the Church. 

The Council of Alexandria was also concerned in 
determining a doctrinal question ; and here too it 
exercised a virtual mediation between the rival parties 
in the Antiochene Church. 

The word Person which we venture to use in speak- 
ing of those three distinct and real modes in which it 
has pleased Almighty God to reveal to us His being, 
is in its philosophical sense too wide for our meaning. 
Its essential signification, as applied to ourselves, is 
that of an individual intelligent agent, answering to 
the Greek hypostasis, or reality. On tiie other hand, if 
we restrict it to its etymological sense oi persona or 
prosopoH, that is character, it evidently means less than 
the Scripture doctrine, which we wish to define by 

* \n<. S. Ba^il, p. cix, cd. Benedict. [Basil ai lengtli succcciied in 
Tcconciling Mclctius to Aihanasius. Viti. Btriedicll. S. Alhaii:i^ii, p. 
UiLvi', and S, B^ilii. p. cli.j 

366 TJie Cotmcil of Alexandria, [chap, v/ 

means of it, as denoting merely certain outward mani- 
festations of the Supreme Being relatively to ourselves, 
which are of an accidental and variable nature. The^^^ e 
statements of Revelation then lie between thesers=^e 
antagonistic senses in which the doctrine of the Holy^"^^^ 

Trinity may be erroneously conceived, between Tri 

theism, and what is popularly called Unitarianism. 

In the choice of difficulties, then, between words -^^s 
which say too much and too little, the Latins, looking— ^^^ 
at the popular and practical side of the doctrine,, 
selected the term which properly belonged to th< 
external and defective notion of the Son and Spirit, 
and called Them Personae, or Characters ; with no 
intention, however, of infringing on the doctrine ol 
their completeness and reality, as distinct from the 
Father, but aiming at the whole truth, as nearly as 
their language would permit. The Greeks, on the 
other hand, with their instinctive anxiety for philoso- 
phical accuracy of expression, secured the notion oi 
Their existence in Themselves, by calling them 
Hypostases or Realities ; for which they considered, 
with some reason, that they had the sanction of the 
Apostle in his Epistle to the Hebrews. Moreover, 
they were led to insist upon this internal view of the 
doctrine, by the prevalence of Sabellianism in the 
East in the third century ; a heresy, which professed 
to resolve the distinction of the Three Persons, into a 
mere distinction of character. Hence the prominence 
given to the Three Hypostases or Realities, in the 
creeds of the Semi-Arians (for instance, Lucian*s and 
Basil's, A.D. 341 — 358), who were the especial antago- 
nists of Sabellius, Marcellus, Photinus, and kindred 
heretics.* It was this praiseworthy jealousy of Sabcl- 

The Couiuil of Akxasidria. 367 

ianism, which led the Greeks to lay stress upon the 
ioctrine of the Hypostatic li'arJ' (the Word in real 
existence), lest the bare use of the terms. Word. 
Voice, Power, Wisdom, and Radiance, in designating 
:iur Lord, should lead to a forgetfulncss of His 
Personality, At the same time, the word tisia fsii^- 
staiice) was adopted by them, to express the simple 
individuality of the Divine Nature, to which the 
Greeks, as scrupulously as the Latins, referred the 
separate Personalities of the Son and Spirit. 

Thus the two great divisions of Christendom rested 
satisfied each with its own theology, agreeing in doc- 
trine, though differing in the expression of it But, 
when th« course of the detestable controversy, whtcli 
Alius had raised, introduced the Latins to the phrase- 
ology of the Greeks, accustomed to the word Persona, 
they were startled at the doctrine of the three Hypos- 
tases ; a term which tliey could not translate except 
by the word substance, and tlierefore considered 
synonymous with the Greek usia, and which, in 
matter of fact, had led to Arianism on the one hand, 
and Tritheism on the other. And the Orientals, on 
their part, were suspicious of the Latin maintenance 
of the One Hypostasis, and Three Persona; ; as if 
such a formula tended to Sabellianism'. 

This is but a general account of the difference 
between the Eastern and Western theology ; for it is 
difficult to ascertain, when the language of tlie Greeks 
first became fixed and consistent. Some eminent 
critics have considered, that nsia was not discriminated 
from hypostasis, till the Council which has given rise to 

[Aoyov (nurooraTO*. Vide sujir. ji. 171,] 

- im and Ilupmluu,. .,J. .Ij^ik;,,,!!., No. ^1 


368 The Cotincil of A lexajtdria, |_cn ap. 

these remarks. Others maintain, that the distinctionr" 
between them is recognized in the "substance or^ 
hypostasis 3" of the Nicene Anathema; and theses 

certainly have the authority of St. Basil on their side^ 

Without attempting an opinion on a point, obscure in_ 
itself, and not of chief importance in the controversy, 
the existing difference between the Greeks and Latins,, 
at the times of the Alexandrian Council, shall be herer 

At this date, the formula of the Three Hypostases 
seems, as a matter of fact, to have been more or less a^ 
characteristic of the Arians. At the same time, it was 
held by the orthodox of Asia, who had communicated 
with them ; that is, interpreted by them, of course, in. 
the orthodox sense which it now bears. This wilL 
account for St. Basil's explanation of the Nicene^ 
Anathema ; it being natural in an Asiatic Christian,, 
who seems (unavoidably) to have arianized^ for the- 
first thirty years of his life, to imagine (whether 
rightly or not) that he perceived in it the distinction 
between Usia and Hypostasis^ which he himself had 
been accustomed to recognize. Again, in the schism 
at Antioch, which has been above narrated, the party 
of Meletius, which had so long arianized, maintained 
the Three Hypostases, in opposition to the Eusta- 
thians, who, as a body, agreed with the Latins, and 
had in consequence been accused by the Arians of 
Sabellianism. Moreover, this connexion of the 
Oriental orthodox with the Semi -Arians, partly 

€^ ovctas y] v7ro(rT(ur€<t)s. 

* Vid. Petav. TheoL Dogm. torn. li. lib. iv. Bull, Defens. Fid. Nic U« 
9, § II. 

* i. e. Semi-Arianized. 


■**^counts for some apparent tritheisms of the former ; 
*^ lieresy into which the latter certainly did fall^. 

Athanasius, on the other hand, without caring to be 
•-* tliform in his use of terms, about which the orthodox 
differed, favours the Latin usage, speaking of the 
S-upreme Being as one Hypostasis, i. e. substance. 
-^\.nd in this he differed from the previous writers of 
llis own Church; who, not having experience of the 
X^atin theology, nor of the perversions of Arianism, 
*».dopt, not only the word hypostasis but (what is 
stronger) the words "nature" and "substance" to 
<3enotc the separate Personalities of the Son and 

As to the Latins, it is said that, when Hosius came 
to Alexandria before the Niccne Council, he was de- 
sirous that some explanation should be made about 
the Hypostasis; though nothing was settled in con- 
sequence. But, soon after the Council of Sardica, an 
_^ddition was made to its confession, which in Theo- 
ioret runs as follows : " Whereas the heretics maintain 
Siat the Hypostases of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, 
F^re distinct and separate, we declare that according to 
the Catholic faith there is but one Hypostasis (which 
they call Usia) of the Three ; and the Hypostasis of 
the Son is the same as the Father's^." 

BSuch was the state of the controversy, if it may so 
' Pclav. i. fin. \i. (3, § 3. The illusnalion of three men, a? being 
derlhesamc nature (which is the ground of ihc accusation which siimc 
*titen have brought against Gregocy Nysscn aad olhets, vid. Cudw. iv. 
36, p, 597,601, &C. Petav. iv. 7. and 10. Gibbon, ch. iii.), was but an 
Hlasuation of a paiiJculac paint in the doctrine, and directed against It;u 
frfpourwnj! of the Arians. It is no eviJcncc of irithcism. Vid. Pti-.v. 
'. tj, SC— iG; andlom. i.ii, 4. 
*Theod.His(.ii. 8. 



370 The Council of Alexandria, [chap, v^ 

be called, at the time of the Alexandrian Council ; ther 
Church of Antioch being, as it were, the stage, upon 
which the two parties in dispute were represented, the 
Meletians siding with the orthodox of the East, and the 
Eustathians with those of the West The Council, 
however, instead of taking part with either, determined, 
in accordance with the writings of Athanasius himself, 
that, since the question merely related to the usage of 
words, it was expedient to allow Christians to under- 
stand the '^hypostasis'' in one or other sense indif- 
ferently. The document which conveys its decision, 
informs us of the grounds of it. "If any propose to 
make additions to the Creed of Nicaea, (says the 
Synodal letter,) stop such persons and rather persuade 
them to pursue peace ; for we ascribe such conduct to 
nothing short of a love of controversy. Offence 
having been given by a declaration on the part of 
certain persons, that there are Three Hypostases^ and 
it having been urged that this language is not scrip- 
tural, and for that reason suspicious, we desired that 
the inquiry might not be pushed beyond the Nicene 
Confession. At the same time, because of this spirit 
of controversy, we questioned them, whether they 
spoke, as the Arians, of Hypostases foreign and dis- 
similar to each other, and diverse in substance, each 
independent and separate in itself, as in the case of 
individual creatures, or the offspring of man, or, as 
different substances, gold, silver, or brass ; or, again, 
as other heretics hold, of Three Origins, and Three 
Gods. In answer, they solemnly assured us, that they 
neither said nor had imagined any such thing. On 
our inquiring, * In what sense then do you say this, or 
why do you use such expressions at all ? ' they an* 

■.'t. j The Council of Alexandria, 


:d, 'Because we believe in the Holy Trinity, not as 
a Trinity in name only, but in truth and reality^. We 
acknowledge the Father truly and in real subsistence, 
and the Son truly in substance, and subsistent, and 
the Holy Ghost subsisting and existing^.' They said 
too, that they had not spoken of Three Gods, or Three 
Origins, nor would tolerate that statement or notion ; 
but acknowledged a Holy Trinity indeed, but only 
One Godhead, and One Origin, and the Son consub- 
stantial with the Father, as the Council declared, and 
the Holy Spirit, not a creature, nor foreign, but proper 
to and indivisible from, the substance of the Son and 
the Father. 

" Satisfied with this explanation of the expressions 
in question, and the reasons for their use, we next ex- 
amined the other party, who were accused by the 
above-mentioned as holding but One Hypostasis, 
whether their teaching coincided with that of the 
Sabellians, in destroying the substance of the Son and 
the subsistence of the Holy Spirit. They were as 
earnest as the otJiers could be, in denying both the 
statement and thought of such a doctrine ; 'but wc 
use Hypostasis' (subsistence), they said, 'considering it 
means the same as Usia (substance), and we hold that 
there is but one, because the Son is from the Usia 
(substance) of the Father, and because of the identity 
of Their nature ; for we believe, as in One Godhead, 
so in One Divine Nature, and not that the Father's is 
one, and that the Son's is foreign, and the Holy 
Ghost's also.' It appeared then, that both those, who 

I Ulitr^a 'Ayujv 

372 Tke Council of Alexandria. [iMtAi? 

were accused of holding three Hypostases, agreed v 
the other party, and those, who spoke of one Substanc 
professed the doctrine of the former in the sense- c 
their interpretation ; by both was Ariys anatliematizet 
as an enemy of Christ, Sabellius and Paulus of Samo- 
sata as impious, Valentinus and Basilides as strangers 
to the truth, 'Manicha:us, as an originator of evil doc- 
trines. And, after these explanations, all, by God's 
grace, unanimously agree, that such expressions were 
not so desirable or accurate as the Nicene Creed , the j 
words of which they promised for tlie future to a 
esce in and to use'." 

Plain as was this statement, and natural as the d 
cision resulting from it, yet It could scarcely befl 
pected to find acceptance in a city, where i 
events had increased dissensions of long standln 
In providing the injured and zealous Eiistathinns wf' 
an ecclesiastical head, Lucifer had, under existing C» 
cumstances, administered a stimulant to tlic throbbil^ 
and festerings o!" the baser passions of human natn* 
— passions, which it requires the strong exertion ' 
Christian magnanimity and charity to ovcrcom* 
The Mcletians, on the other hand, recognized as dHj 
were by the Oriental Church as a legitimate brandiS 
itself, were in tlic position of an establishment, and* 
exposed to the temptation of disdaining those who 
the surrounding Churches considered as sdiisman* 
How far each party was in fault, we arc not able I 
determine; but blame lay somewhere, for the contfl 
vcr^y about the Hypostasis, verbal as it was, b 
the watchword of the quarrel between the two p 
and only ended, when the Eustatliians were ( 
absorbed by the larger and more powerful body. 
' Aiban Toai. sd Aoliocb, 5 ani t. 




second Ecumenical Council was held at Constan- 
le, A.D. 381 — 383. It is celebrated in the history- 
theology for its condemnation of the Macedonians, 
10, separating the Holy Spirit from the unity of the 
ither and Son, implied or inferred that He was a 
creature. A brief account of it is here added in its 
ecclesiastical aspect ; the doctrine itself, to which it 
formally bore witness, having been incidentally dis- 
cussed in the second Chapter of this Volume. 

Eight years before the date of this Council, Athana- 
sius had been taken to his rest. After a life of contest, 
spite of the hardships he encountered, 
'ond the age of seventy years, he fell asleep in 
iceable possession of the Churches, for which he had 
suffered. The Council of Alexandria was scarcely 
concluded, when he was denounced by Julian, and 
saved his Ufe by flight or concealment Returning on 
Jovian's accession, he was, for a fifth and last time, 
forced to retreat before the ministers of his Arian 
successor Vale ns ; and for four months lay hid in his 
'a sepulchre. On a representation being made 
the new Emperor, even with the consent of the 

^HKjrond tl 

3 74 ^^^ Council of Constantinople, [chap, v, 

Arians themselves, he was finally restored ; and so i 
happened, through the good Providence of God, tha 

the fury of persecution, heavily as it threatened in hij 
last years, yet was suspended till his death, when it a1 

once burst forth upon the Church with renewed vigour. " 

Thus he was permitted to muse over his past trials, .^ 
and his prospects for the future ; to collect his mind 
to meet his God, gathering himself up with Jacob on 
his bed of age, and yielding up the ghost peaceably""*^-^ 
among his children. Yet, amid the decay of nature, ,^^-y 
and the visions of coming dissolution, the attention oi 
Athanasius was in no wise turned from the active duties 
of his station. The vigour of his obedience to those 
duties remained unabated ; one of his last acts being 
the excommunication of one of the Dukes of Lybia, 
for irregularity of life. 

At length, when the great Confessor was removed, 
the Church sustained a loss, from which it never re- 
covered. His resolute resistance of heresy had been 
but one portion of his services ; a more excellent praise 
is due to him, for his charitable skill in binding to- 
gether his brethren in unity. The Church of Alexan- 
dria was the natural mediator between the East and 
West ; and Athanasius had well improved the ad- 
vantages thus committed to him. His judicious 
interposition in the troubles at Antioch has lately 
been described ; and the dissensions between his own 
Church and Constantinople, which ensued upon his 
death, may be taken to show how much the combina- 
tion of the Catholics depended on his silent authority. 
Theological subtleties were for ever starting into 
existence among the Greek Christians ; and the 
Arian controversy had corrupted their spirit, where it 

*»R(1 f 

II.] The Council of Constantinople. 375 

™R(1 failed to impair their orthodoxy. Disputation 
"^Vas the rule of belief, and ambition of conduct, in the 
l^usebian school ; and these evil introductions out-lived 
its day. Patronized by the secular power, the great 
Churches of Christendom conceived a jealousy of each 
other, and gradually fortified themselves in their own 
resources. As Athanasius drew towards his end, the 
task of mediation became more difficult. In spite of 
liis desire to keep aloof from party, circumstances 
threw him against his will into one of the two 
division.'), which were beginning to discover themselves 
in the Christian world. Even before his time, traces 
appear of a rivalry between the Asiatic and Egyptian 
Churches. The events of his own day, developing 
their differences of character, at the same time con- 
nected t!ie Egyptians with the Latins. The mistakes 
of his own friends obliged him to side with a seeming 
faction in the body of the Antiochcne Church ; and, 
in the schism which followed, he found himself in 
opposition to the Catholic communities of Asia Minor 
and the East. Still, though the course of events 
tended to ultimate disruptions in the Catholic Church, 
his personal influence remained unimpaired to the 
last, and enabled him to interpose with good effect 
in the affairs of the East. This is well illustrated by 
a letter addressed to him shortly before his death, by 
St. Basil, who belonged to the contrary party, and had 
then recently been elevated to the exarchate of 
C^sarea. It shall be here inserted, and may serve as 
a sort of valediction in parting with one, who, after 
the Apostles, has been a principal instrument, by 
which the sacred truths of Christianity have been con- 
veyed and secured to the world. 

376 The Cotmcil of Constantinople. [cHikP. k 

" To Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria. The mort 
the sicknesses of the Church increase, so much the 
more earnestly do we all turn towards thy Perfection, 
persuaded that for thee to lead us is our sole remain- 
ing comfort in our difficulties. By the power of thy 
prayers, by the wisdom of thy counsels, thou art able 
to carry us through this fearful storm ; as all are sure, 
who have heard or made trial of that perfection ever 
so little. Wherefore cease not both to pray for our 
souls, and to stir us up by thy letters ; didst thou 
know the profit of these to us, thou wouldst never k^t 
pass an opportunity of writing to us. For me, were it 
vouchsafed to me, by the co-operation of thy prayers, 
once to see thee, and to profit by the gift lodged in 
thee, and to add to the history of my life a meeting 
with so great and apostolical a soul, surely I should 
consider myself to have received from the lovin^j 
mercy of God a compensation for all the ills, with 
which my life has ever been afflicted '." 


The trials of the Church, spoken of by Basil in this 
letter, were the beginnings of the persecution directed 
against it by the Emperor Valens. This prince, who 
succeeded Jovian in the East, had been baptized by 
Eudoxius ; who, from the time he became possessed of 
the Sec of Constantinople, was the chief, and soon 
became the sole, though a powerful, supf)ort of the 
Eusebian faction. He is said to have bound Valens 
by oath, at the time of his baptism, that he would 
establish Arianism as the state reliction of the East; 
and thus to have prolonged its ascendancy for an 

> \V\w\. i:p. 80. 

ii.] The Council of Constantinople. 

additional sixteen years after the death of Constan- 
tius (a.D. 361 — 37S). At the beginning of this period, 
tlie heretical party had been weakened by the seces- 
sion of tlie Semi-Arians, who had not merely left it, 
but had joined the Catholics. This part of the history 
affords a striking illustration, not only of the gradual 
influence of truth over error, but of the remarkable 
manner in which Divine Providence makes use of 
error itself as a preparation for truth ; that is, employ- 
ing the lighter forms of it in sweeping away those of 
a more offensive nature. Thus Scmi-Arianism became 
the bulwark and forerunner of the orthodoxy which it 
opposed. From A.D. 357, the date of the second and 
virtually Homcean formulary of Sirmium', it had pro- 
tested against the impiety of the genuine Arians, In 
the successive Councils of Ancyra and Seleucia, in the 
two following years, it had condemned and deposed 
ihem ; and had established the scarcely objectionable 
creed of Lucian. On its own subsequent disgrace at 
Court, it had concentrated itself on the Asiatic side of 
the Hellespont ; while the high character of its leading 

Jiops for gravity and strictness of life, and its influ- 
eover the monastic institutions, gave it a formidable 

pularity among the lower classes on the opposite 

ist of Thrace. 
ESix years after the Council of Seleucia (A.D. 365), in 
Be reign of Valens, the Semi-Arians held a Council at 
Lampsacus, in which they condemned the Homcean 
formulary of Ariminum, confirmed the creed of the 
Dedication (A.D. 341), and, after citing the Eudoxians 
to answer the accusations brought against them, pro- 
ceeded to ratify that deposition of them, which had 

» [Vu1cEUpr,-i, pp.jii.JIj,] 

378 The Council of Constanttnople. fcHAP. 

already been pronounced at Seleucla. At this tiM 
they seem to have entertained hopes of gaining 4e 
Emperor; but, on finding the influence of Eudoxiia. 
paramount at Court, their horror or jealousy ofhii 
party led them to a bolder step. They resolved cm 
putting themselves under the protection of Valen-i 
tinian, the orthodox Emperor of the West ; ant 
finding it necessary for this purpose to stand wcS 
with the Latin Church, they at length overcame thdr 
repugnance to the Homoilsion, and subscribed a fOP 
raula, of which (at least till the Council of Constant^ 
nople, A.D. 360) they had been among the moS 
eager and obstinate opposers. Fifty-nine Scnii-AriiU' 
Bishops gave in their assent to orthodoxy on tlA 
memorable occasion, which took place A.D. 366. Thdf 
deputies were received into communion by Liberia 
who had recovered himself at Ariminum, and t 
wrote letters in favour of these new converts to 
Churches of the East. On their return, they prt 
sented themselves before an orthodox Council ll 
sitting at Tyana, exhibited the commendatory letl 
which they had received from Italy, Gaul, Afric 
and Sicily, as well as Rome, and were joyfully I 
knowledged by the assembled Fathers as tnembent 
the Catholic body. A final Council was appointedl 
Tarsus ; whither it was hoped dll the Churches of H 
East would send representatives, in order to compld 
the reconciliation between the two parties. 
enough had been done, as it would seem, in 
external course of events, to unite the scattCK 
portions of the Church ; and, when that end was a 
the point of accomplishment, the usual law of Divl 
Providence intervened, and left the sequel of the u 

^%Cr. ILJ The (MJadi rf Crmstam^^lu 


^ a task aad a tiial i^ Orr5=cizr55 i3drr5ii:a!2]r. Tlw 
Project of tiic Cccndj fkDfc : thErtr-frcir Seni-Ar£2:n 
bishops suddenly opposed tbr^-^^Zre? to* i2:e- p-::rr>cse 
of their brethren, 2r>d przcfst-frd 2^2i::5t ibe Hrrz^tsz^n^ 
The Emperor, <:»3 ijrye otber iizDil re^:c.r:tZy hsptired 
by Eudoxius, r^a^-^rrf^ : f:-rb£if e the propcrsec Coun- 
cil, and prcceeded ic- is^je as edSn, in Trhfch all 
bishops were depc'sed frc»m ths^zr Sees irbo had baen 
banished usider Cc^riftartz-ES. srjd restored by Joilian, 
It was at this time, thst the rfth exile of Aihanasiias 
took place, which was lately mtr.rlci^ed- A n:ore 
cruel persecution fc'Iicwed in A-I-. 571, and lasted for 
several vears. The ccath of Vz]er3, A.D. ;7S, was 
followed bv the dDHTifall of Arianism in t"^e 
Eastern Church. 

As to Semi-AriamssL it disaooears from ecdesias- 
tical histon* at the date of the proposed Council of 
Tarsus (A.D. 367* ; from which time the portion of the 
party, which remained non-conformist, is more properly 
designated Macedonian, or Pneumatomachfsr, from 
the chief article of their heresv. 


During the reign of Valens, much had been done in 
furtherance of e\'angelical truth, in the still remaining 
territory of Arianism, by the proceedings of the Semi- 
Arians ; but at the same period symptoms of return- 
ing orthodoxy, even in its purest form, had appeared 
in Constantinople itself On the death of Eudoxius 
(A.D. 370), the Catholics elected an orthodox successor, 
by name Evagrius. He was instantly banished by 
the Emperor's command ; and the population of Con- 
stantinople seconded the act of Valens, by the most 

380 The Council of Constantinople, [chap. 

unprovoked excesses towards the Catholics. Eigh^^ 
of their clergy, who were in consequence deputed Xzo 
lay their grievances before the Emperor, lost their 
lives, under circumstances of extreme treachery and 
barbarity. Faith, which was able to stand its ground 
in such a season of persecution, was naturally 
prompted to more strenuous acts, when prosperous 
times succeeded. On the death of Valens, the Catho- 
lics of Constantinople looked beyond their own com- 
munity for assistance, in combating* the dominant 
heresy. Evagrius, whom they had elected to the See, 
seems to have died in exile ; and they invited to his 
place the celebrated Gregory Nazianzen, a man of 
diversified accomplishments, distinguished for his 
eloquence, and still more for his orthodoxy, his in- 
tegrity, and the innocence, amiableness, and refine- 
ment of his character. 

Gregory was a native of Cappadocia, and an intimate 
friend of the great Basil, with whom he had studied at 
Athens. On Basil's elevation to the exarchate of 
Caesarea, Gregory had been placed by him in the 
bishoprick of Sasime ; but, ths appointment being 
contested by Anthimus, who claimed the primacy 
of the lower Cappadocia, he retired to Nazianzus, his 
father's diocese, where he took on himself those duties, 
to which the elder Gregory had become unequal. 
After the death of the latter, he remained for several 
years without pastoral employment, till the call of 
the Catholics brought him to Constantinople. His 
election was approved by Meletius, patriarch of 
Antioch ; and by Peter, the successor of Athanasius, 
who by letter recognized his accession to the metro- 
politan sec. 

. Ti.] The Council of Constantiftopk. 

On his first arrival there, he had no more suitable 
place of worship than his own lodgings, wliero ho 
preached the Catholic doctrine to the dwindled com- 
munion over which he presided. But the result 
which Constantiiis had anticipated, when he denied to 
i Athanasius a Church in Antioch, soon showed itself 
at Constantinople. His congregation increased ; the 
house, in which they assembled, was converted into a 
church by the pious liberality of its owner, with the 
name of Anastasia, in hope of that resurrection which 
now awaited the long-buried truths of the Gospel. 
The contempt, with which the Arian.'! had first re- 
garded him, was succeeded by a persecution on the 
part of the populace. An attempt was made to stone 
h'm ; his church was attacked, and he himself brought 
before a magistrate, under pretence of having caused 
the riot. - Violence so unjust did but increase the 
influence, which a disdainful toleration had allowed 
^h^m to establish ; and the accession of the orthodox 
^^Bieodosius secured it. 

^^nOn his arrival at Constantinople, the new Emperor 
^Ipsolved on executing in his capital the determination, 
which he had already prescribed by edict to the East- 
ern Empire. The Arian Bishops were required to 
s ubscribe the Nicene formulary, or to quit their sees, 
lophilus, the Eusebian successor of Eudoxius, who 
already been introduced to our notice as an 
implice in the seduction of Liberius, was first prc- 
ited with this alternative ; and, with an honesty of 
lich his party aflbrds few instances, he refused at 
to assent to opinions, which he had all through 
life been opposing, and retired from the city, 
my bishops, however, of the Arian party ccnformed; 

382 The Council of Consiantinople. [chap. v. 

and the Church was unhappily inundated by the very 
evil, which in the reign of Constantihe the Athana- 
sians had strenuously and successfully withstood. 

The unfortunate policy, which led to this measure, 
might seem at first sight to be sanctioned by the 
decree of the Alexandrian Council, which made sub- 
scription the test of orthodoxy ; but, on a closer 
inspection, the cases will be found to be altogether 
dissimilar. When Athanasius acted upon that prin- 
ciple, in the reign of Julian, there was no secular 
object to be gained by conformity ; or rather, the 
malevolence of the Emperor was peculiarly directed 
against those, whether orthodox or Semi-Arians, who 
evinced any earnestness about Christian truth. Even 
then, the recognition was not extended to those who 
had taken an active part on the side of heresy. On 
the other hand, the example of Athanasius himself, 
and of Alexander of Constantinople, in the reign of 
Constantine, sufficiently marked their judgment in the 
matter ; both of them having resisted the attempt of 
the Court to force Arius upon the Church, even 
though he professed his assent to the Homousion, 

Whether or not it was in Gregory's power to hinder 
the recognition of the Arianizers, or whether his firm- 
ness was not equal to his humility and zeal, the con- 
sequences of the measure are visible in the conduct of 
the General Council, which followed it.' He himself may 
be considered as the victim of it ; and he has left us 
in poetry and in oratory his testimony to the deterio- 
ration of religious principle, which the chronic vicissi- 
tudes of controversy had brought about in the Eastern 

The following passage, from one of his orations. 

^CT. n.] The Council of Constantinople. 383 

'llustratcs both the state of the times, and his own 
beautiful character, though unequal to struggle against 
tliem, "Who is there," he says, "but will find, on 
measuring himself by St. Paul's rules for the conduct 
of Bishops and Priests, — that they should be sobur, 
chaste, not fond of wine, not strikers, apt to teach, un- 
blamable in all things, unassailable by the wicked, — ■ 
that he falls far short of its perfection ?....! am 
alarmed to think of our Lord's censure of the Phari- 
sees, and his reproof of the Scribes ; disgraceful indeed 
would it be, should we, who are bid be so far above 
them in virtue, in order to enter the kingdom of 
heaven, appear even worse than they. , . These 
thoughts haunt mc night and day ; they consume my 
bones, and feed on my flesh ; they keep mc from 
boldness, or from walking with erect countenance. 
They so humble me and cramp my mind, and place 
a chain on my tongue, that I cannot think of a Ruler's 
office, nor of correcting and guiding others, which is 
a talent above me ; but only, how I myself may flee 
from the wrath to come, and scrape myself some little 
from the poison of my sin. First, I must be cleansed, 
and then cleanse others ; learn wisdom, and then 
impart it ; draw near to God, and then bring others 
to Him; be sanctified, and then sanctify. 'When 
will you ever get to the end of this ? ' say the all-hasty 
and unsafe, who are quick to build up and to pull down. 
' When will you place your light on a candlestick \ 
Where is your talent ? ' So say friends of mine, who 
have more zeal for me than religious seriousness. 
Ah, my brave men, why ask my season for acting, 
and my plan ? Surely the last day of payment is 
soon enough, old age in its extreme ternL Grey hairs 

384 The Council of Constantinople, [chap^ K 

l\ave prudence, and youth is untaught. Best be si c:>^ 
and sure, not quick and thoughtless ; a kingdom 'for 
a day, not a tyranny for a life ; a little gold, not & 
weight of lead. It was the shallow earth shot forth 
the early blade. Truly there is cause of fear, lest I be 
bound hand and foot, and cast without the marriage- 
chamber, as an audacious intruder without fitting 
garment among the assembled guests. And yet I 
was called thither from my youth (to confess a matter 
which few know), and on God was I thrown from the 
womb ; made over to Him by my mother's promise, 
confirmed in His service by dangers afterwards. Yea, 
and my own wish grew up beside her purpose, and 
my reason ran along with it ; and all I had to give, 
wealth, name, health, literature, I brought and offered 
them to Him, who called and saved me ; my sole 
enjoyment of them being to despise them, and to have 
something which I could resign for Christ. To under- 
take the direction and government of souls is above 
me, who have not yet well learnt to be guided, nor to 
be sanctified as far as is fitting. Much more is this so 
in a time like the present, when it is a great thing to 
flee away to some place of shelter, while others are 
whirled to and fro, and so to escape the storm and 
darkness of the evil one ; for this is a time when the 
members of the Christian body war with each other, 
and whatever there was left of love is come to nought. 
Moabites and Ammonites, who were forbidden even to 
enter the Church of Christ, now tread our holiest 
places. We have opened to all, not gates of righteous- 
ness, but of mutual reviling and injury. We think 
those the best of men, not who keep from every idle 
word through fear of God, but such as have openly or 

Covertly slandered their neighbour most And we 
niark the sins of others, not to lament, but to blame 
them ; not to cure, but to second the blow ; and to 
make the wounds of others an excuse for our own. 
Men are judged good and bad, not by their course of 
life, but by their enmities and friendships. We praise 
to-day, we call names to-morrow. All things are 
readily pardoned to impiety. So mE^nanimously are 
we forgiving in wicked ways^!" 

The first disturbance in the reviving Church of 
Constantinople had arisen from the ambition of Max- 
imus, a Cynic philosopher, who aimed at supplanting 
Gregoiy in his see. He was a friend and countryman 
of Peter, the new Patriarch of Alexandria ; and had 
suffered banishment in the Oasis, on the persecution 
which followed the death of Athanasius. His reputa- 
tion was considerable among learned men of the day, 
as is shown by the letters addressed to him by Basil. 
Gregory felt in with him at Constantinople ; and 
pleased at the apparent strictness and manliness of his 
conduct, he received him into his house, baptized him, 
and at length admitted him into inferior orders. The 
return made by Maximus to his benefactor, was to 
conduct an intrigue with one of his principal Pres- 
byters ; to gain over Peter of Alexandria, who had 
already recognized Gregory ; to obtain from him the 
presence of three of his bishops ; and, entering the 
metropolitan church during the night, to instal him- 
self, with their aid, in the episcopal throne, A tumult 
ensued, and he was obliged to leave the city ; but, far 
from being daunted at the immediate failure of his 
plot, he laid his case before a Council of the West, his 

_i^lot, he laid hi 

W^ * Gttg. Ora 

-137- [Ji. 69— ;3. 77— So- abtidgeJ. 

386 The Council of Constantinople, [chap. v. 

plea consisting on the one hand, in the allegation 
that Gregory, as being Bishop of another Church, 
held the See contrary to the Canons, and on the other 
hand, in the recognition which he had obtained from 
the Patriarch of Alexandria. The Council, deceived 
by his representations, approved of his consecration ; 
but Theodosius, to whom he next addressed himself, 
saw through his artifices, and banished him. 

Fresh mortifications awaited the eloquent preacher, 
to whom the Church of Constantinople owed its resur- 
rection. While the Arians censured his retiring habits, 
and his abstinence from the innocent pleasures of life, 
his own flock began to complain of his neglecting to 
use his influence at Court for their advantage. Over- 
whelmed with the disquietudes, to which these occur- 
rences gave birth, Gregory resolved to bid adieu to a 
post which required a less sensitive or a more vigorous 
mind than his own. In a farewell oration, he re- 
counted his labours and sufferings during the time he 
had been among them, commemorated his successes, 
and exhorted them to persevere in the truth, which 
they had learned from him. His congregation were 
affected by this address ; and, a reaction of feeling 
taking place, they passionately entreated him to 
abandon a resolve, which would involve the ruin 
of orthodoxy in Constantinople, and they declared that 
they would not quit the church till he acceded to 
their importunities. At their entreaties, he consented 
to suspend the execution of his purpose for a while ; 
that is, until the Eastern prelates who were expected 
at the General Council, which had by that time been 
convoked, should appoint a Bishop in his room. 

The circumstances attending the arrival of Theodo- 

fp. H.^ The Council of Consian/inople. 387 

_||us at Constantinople, connected as tliey were witli 
the establishment of the true religion, still were cal- 
culated to inflict an additional wound on his feelings, 
and to increase his indisposition to continue in his 
post, endeared though it was to him by its first 
associations. The inhabitants of an opulent and 
luxurious metropolis, familiarized to Arianism by its 
forty years' ascendancy among them, and disgusted at 
the apparent severity of the orthodox school, prepared 
to resist the installation of Gregory in the cathedral 
of St. Sophia. A strong military force was appointed 
to escort him thither ; and the Emperor gave coun- 
tenance to the proceedings by his own presence. 
Allowing himself to be put in possession of the 
church, Gregory was nevertheless firm to his purpose 
of not seating himself upon the A rchi episcopal throne; 
and when the light-minded multitude clamorously 
required it, he was unequal to the task of addressing 
them, and deputed one of his Presbyters to speak in 
K^^ s stead. 

^K Nor were the manners of the Court more congenial 
Wwft his well-regulated mind, than the lawless spirit of 
'the people. Ofiended at the disorders which he wit- 
nessed there, he shunned the condescending advances 
of the Emperor ; and was with difficulty withdrawn 
from the duties of his station, the solitude of his own 
thoughts, and the activity of pious ministrations, 
prayer and fasting, the punishment of offenders and 
the visitation of the sick. Careless of personal splen- 
dour, he allowed the revenues of his see to be 
expended in supporting its dignity, by inferior eccle- 
siastics, who were in his confidence ; and, while he 
defended the principle, on which Arianism had been 

388 The Council of Coiistanthiople. [cHAr. 

dispossessed of its power, he exerted himself wit 
earnestness to protect the heretics from all intern ^ — 
perate execution of the Imperial decree. 

Nor was the elevated refinement of Gregory better 
adapted to sway the minds of the corrupt hierarchy 
which Arianism had engendered, than to rule the 
Court and the people. " If I must speak the truth," 
he says in one of his letters, " I feel disposed to shun 
every conference of Bishops ; because I never saw 
Synod brought to a happy issue, nor remedying, but 
rather increasing, existing evils. For ever is there 
rivalry and ambition, and these have the mastery of 
reason ;— do not think me extravagant for saying so ; 
— and a mediator is more likely to be attacked him- 
self, than to succeed in his pacification. Accordingly, 
I have fallen back upon myself, and consider quiet the 
only security of life''"." 

Such was the state of things, under which the 
second CEcumenical Council, as it has since been con- 
sidered, was convoked. It met in May, A.D. 381 ; 
being designed to put an end, as far as might be, to 
those very disorders, which unhappily found their 
principal exercise in the assemblies which were to 
remove them. The Western Church enjoyed at this 
time an almost perfect peace, and sent no deputies to 
Constantinople. But in the Oriental provinces, besides 
the distractions caused by the various heretical off- 
shoots of Arianism, its indirect effects existed in the 
dissensions of the Catholics themselves ; in the schism 
at Antioch ; in the claims of Maximus to the see of 

« Greg. Naz. Ep. 55. [Ep. 130.] 

^^CT. II.] The Co7incil of Constantinople. 389 

Constantinople ; and in recent disturbances at Alexan- 
*i ria, where the loss of Athanasius was already painfully 
V-isible. Added to these, was the ambiguous position 
of the Macedonians ; who resisted the orthodox doc- 
trine, yet were only by implication heretical, or at 
least some of them far less than others. Thirty-six 
of their Bishops attended the Council, principally 
from the neighbourhood of the Hellespont ; of the 
orthodox there were 150, Meletius, of Antioch, being 
the president. Other eminent prelates present were 
Gregory Nyssen, brother of St. Basil, who had died 
some years before ; Amphilochius of Iconium, Dio- 
donis of Tarsus, Cyril of Jerusalem, and Gelasius of 
CtEsarea, in Palestine. 

The Council had scarcely accomplished its first act, 
the establishment of Gregory in the see of Constan- 
tinople, to the exclusion of Maximus, when Meletius, 
the President, died ; an unhappy event, as not only 
removing a check from its more turbulent members, 
but in itself supplying the materials of immediate 
discord. An arrangement had been effected between 
the two orthodox communions at Antioch, by which it 
was provided, that the survivor of the rival Bishops 
should be acknowledged by the opposite party, and a 
termination thus put to the schism. This was in 
accordance with the principle acted upon by the 
Alexandrian Council, on the separation of the Mele- 
tians from the Arians. At that time the Eustathian 
party was called on to concede, by acknowledging 
Meletius ; and now, on the death of Meletius, it became 
the duty of the Meletians in turn to submit to Pauli- 
nu3, whom Lucifer had consecrated as Bishop of the 
F.ufitathian.s. Schism, however, admits "ot of these 

390 The Council of Constantinople, [chap. v. 

simple remedies. The self-will of a Latin Bishop had 
defeated the plan of conciliation in the former instance ; 
and now the pride and jealousy of the Orientals revolted 
from communion with a prelate of Latin creation. 
The attempt of Gregory, who had succeeded to the 
presidency of the Council, to calm their angry feelings, 
and to persuade them to deal fairly with the Eusta- 
thians, as well as to restore peace to the Church, only 
directed their violence against himself It was in 
vain that his own connection with the Meletian party 
evidenced the moderation and candour of his advice ; 
in vain that the age of Paulinus gave assurance, that 
the nominal triumph of the Latins could be of no long 
continuance. Flavian, who, together with others, had 
solemnly sworn, that he would not accept the bishop- 
rick in case of the death of Meletius, permitted himself 
to be elevated to the vacant see ; and Gregory, driven 
from the Council, took refuge from its clamours in a 
remote part of Constantinople. 

About this time the arrival of the Egyptian bishops 
increased the dissension. By some inexplicable omis- 
sion they had not been summoned to the Council ; 
and they came, inflamed with resentment against thie 
Orientals. They had throughout taken the side of 
Paulinus, and now their earnestness in his favour 
was increased by their jealousy of his opponents. 
Another cause of offence was given to them, in the 
recognition of Gregory before their arrival ; nor did 
his siding with them in behalf of Paulinus, avail to 
avert from him the consequences of their indignation. 
Maximus was their countryman, and the deposition 
of Gregory was necessary to appease their insulted 
patriotism. Accordingly, the former charge was revived 

Sect. h.J The Council of Constantinople. 


^^^ pressc( 
^^H Rome. 

of the illegality of his promotion. A Canon of the 
icene Council prohibited the translation of bishops, 
priests, or deacons, from Church to Church ; and, 
■while it was calumniously pretended, that Gregory 
Jiad held in succession three bishopricks, Sasime, 
Nazianzus, and Constantinople, it could not be denied, 
that, at least, he had passed from Nazianzus, the 
place of his original ordination, to the Imperial city. 
Urged by this fresh attack, Gregory once more re- 
solved to retire from an eminence, which he had from 
the first been reluctant to occupy, except for the sake 
of the re«ie nib ranees, with which it was connected. 
The Emperor with difficulty accepted his resignation; 
but at length allowed him to depart from ConstantiT 
noplc, Nectarius being placed on the patriarchal 
throne in his stead. 

In the mean while, a Council had been held at 
Aquileia of the bishops of the north of Italy, with a 
view of inquiring into the faith of two Bishops of 
t)acia, accused of Arianism. During its session, 
news was brought of the determination of the Con- 
stantinopolitan Fathers to appoint a successor to 
Ideletius ; and, surprised both by the unexpected 
continuation of the schism, and by the slight put on 
■themselves, they petitioned Theodosius to permit a 
;eneral Council to be convoked at Alexandria, which 
Jlhc delegates of the Latin Church might attend. 
Some dissatisfaction, moreover, was felt for a time 
at the appointment of Nectarius, in the place of 
Maximus, whom they had originally recognized. 
They changed their petition shortly after, and ex- 
pressed a wish that a Council should be held at 

392 The Council of Constantinople, [chap, v. 

These letters from the West were submitted to the 
Council of Constantinople, at its second, or, (as some 
say,) third sitting, A.D. 382 or 383, at which Nectarius 
presided. An answer was returned to the Latins, de- 
clining to repair to Rome, on the ground of the incon- 
venience, which would arise from the absence of the 
Eastern bishops from their dioceses ; the Creed and 
other doctrinal statements of the Council were sent 
them, and the promotion of Nectarius and Flavian was 
maintained to be agreeable to the Nicene Canons, 
which determined, that the Bishops of a province had 
the right of consecrating such of their brethren, as 
were chosen by the people and clergy, without the 
interposition of foreign Churches ; an exhortation to 
follow peace was added, and to prefer the edification 
of the whole body of Christians, to personal attach- 
ments and the interests of individuals. 

Thus ended the second General Council. As to 
the addition made by it to the Nicene Creed, it is 
conceived in the temperate spirit, which might be ex- 
pected from those men, who took the more active 
share in its doctrinal discussions. The ambitious and 
tumultuous part of the assembly seems to have been 
weary of the controversy, and to have left its settle- 
ment to the more experienced and serious-minded of 
their body. The Creed of Constantinople is said to 
be the composition of Gregory NyssenS. 

From the date of this Council, Arianism was formed 
into a sect exterior to the Catholic Church ; and, 

* Whether or not the Macedonians explicitly denied the divinity of the 
Holy Spirit, is uncertaun; but they viewed Him as essentially separate 

!CT. n.] The Council of Constantinople. 393 

taking refuge among the Barbarian Invaders of the 
Empire, is merged among those extenial enemies of 
Christianity, whose history cannot be regarded as 
strictly ecclesiastical. Such is the general course of 
religious error ; which rises within the sacred precincts, 
but in vain endeavours to take root in a soil uncon- 
genial to it The domination of heresy, however pro- 
longed, is but one stage in its existence ; it ever 
hastens to an end, and that end is the triumph of 
the Truth. "I myself have seen the ungodly in 
great poiver," says the Psalmist, " and ilourishing like 
a green bay tree ; I went by, and lo, he was gone ; I 
sought him, but his place could nowhere be found." 
And so of the present perils, with which our branch of 
the Church is beset, as they bear a marked resem- 
blance to those of the fourth century, so are the 
lessons, which we gain from that ancient time, 
especially cheering and edifying to Christians of the 
present day. Then as now, there was the prospect, 
and partly the presence in the Church, of an Heretical 
Tower enthralling it, exerting a varied influence and a 
usurped claim in the appointment of her functionaries, 
and interfering with the management of her internal 
affairs. Now as then, " whosoever shall fall upon tliis 
stone shall be broken, but on whomsoever it shall fall, 

from, and external lo, (he One Indivisible Godhead. Accordingly, ibe 
Cieed (whicb is ilia.1 since incotpoiaud inlo Lhe public services of (he 
Church), without declaring more than the occasion rcquircil, closes all 
speculations concerning the incomprehensible subject, by simply confes- 
sing his unily with the Father and Son. It declares, moreover, that lie 
is (he Lord (ifupios) or Sovereign Spirit, because the heretics considered 
Hiin la be but a minister of God ; and the supreme Gieer of life, because 
Ihcjr considered Him a mere instrument, by wham we received the gift. 
The lait clause of the second paragraph in the Creed, is directed against 
the heresy of Marccllus of Ancyra. 

394 ^'^ Council of Constantinople, [chap. 

it will grind him to powder." Meanwhile, we mi 
take comfort in reflecting, that, though the present 
tyranny has more of insult, it has hitherto had less of 
scandal, than attended the ascendancy of Arianisia ; 
we may rejoice in the piety, prudence, and varied 
graces of our Spiritual Rulers ; and may rest in the 
confidence, that, should the hand of Satan press us 
sore, our Athanasius and Basil will be given us in 
their destined season, to break the bonds of the 
Oppressor, and let the captives go free. 

r original Creed of Nicsa. : 
Hist. i. 8. 

contained in Socr. 

Evofiev eif em Veoif, irarepa travTQKpa.Topa, "rravTaiv 
p/joToJv re Aral uopcnwv troirjTi^v- 

Kat et? €va Kvpiov iijcroOy ')(pujTov, rov viou toC Beov' 
'vvOivTa it TOW •!raTpo<; (lovoyevrf tout eariu iic r^5 
jia<: TO!) TTWTph'i, Beov eic 6eov, xal <j>qk ex 0qito«, Oeov 
I^^KrjBiVov 4k deov aX'r)8i,vav' yevvT/diiTa ov iroiTjBf.vra, 
na/ioova-iov t^ ivarpi St' ov to, Trdina tyevero, Tti re ev 
S oiipava Kol TO. in ifi jf/. AC J)pa<i tow uvBp<oTrow 

X StA T^w fifier^pav <rmTi]piav KareXBovi 
na, Kal ivavdpanrTJo'avTa- TraBowa, Koi. 
fftrp yfieptf, uviKdovTO. eh Tov<i ovpavoii'i, epypp-evov 

t (^urra; koX veicpov^. 
I Kal eh TO dyiov "Kv^pa. 

'• Tow; Be XtyovTa'i, on '/f irork Ztp ovk tJit koX irplv 
t ^v Kal oTi i^ ovK ovTtiiv iyhrero' 17 ef 
Ttpw VTTOtrraaebi'i fj ovala^ t^aaxovTii-i elvar y KTiorov, 
I Tpeinop, ri aWoicarov tov vlisv rov Beov- uvaSefiaji^et 
ftoy/a Ka&o\iK^ koX uTroaroKiKri eKK\t]<ria. 





are^ for the 7nost fart^ according to Ttt.t.emont.^ 


eus, pp. 62, 101 , 40 

ti Egypt, p. 41 49, 

and Ebion, heretics, pp. 20, 21 90 

, heretics, p. 21., . . . , . . . . 137 

heretic, p. 55 140 

leretic, p. 55- * "• i44 

38, martyred 167 

s. Bishop of Antioch, p. 95 168 

retic,pp. 52, 95 169 

heresiarch, p. 16 171 

as, pp. 42, 95, writes his Apology. . . . 177 

Missionary to the Indians, pp. 42, 102. . 189 

, Bishop of Alexandria, p. 42 189 

)f Alexandria, Master of the Catechetical 

>1, pp. 48 — 87 189 

; and Artemon, heretics, pp. 22, 35, 114. . 193 

mperor^ p. 10 193 

;hop of Rome, pp. 13, 21, 35 197 

:imans of Asia Minor, p. 15 197 

eretic, p. 117 201 

39^ Chronological Table. 


Irenseus, Bishop of Lyons, p. 54, martyred . . • . 202 
Origen, aged 18, Master of the Catechetical School, 

P- 42 203 

Tertullian, pp. 138, 188, falls away into Montanism . 204 
Philostratus ^vrites the Life of Apollonius Tyanaeus, 

P' 109 217 

Noetus, heretic, pp. 117, 124 220 

Origen converts Gregory Thaumaturgus, p. 66 . • . 231 

Ammonius the Eclectic, p. 102 232 

Gregory Thaumaturgus delivers his panegyric on 

Origen, p. 108 239 

Plotinus at Rome, pp. 107, 115 . . 244 

Babylas, Bishop of Antioch martyred, p. 3 . • . . 250 

Novatian, heresiarch, p. 16 250 

Hippolytus, p. 200 ; mart)n: 252 

Death of Origen, aged 69, p. 107 253 

Sabellius, heresiarch, p. 118 255 

Dionysius, Bishop of Rome, animadverts on Dionysius 

of Alexandria, p. 126 260 

Paulus of Samosata, heretic, pp. 3, 27, 171, 186, 203. 260 
Council against Paulus, pp. 27, 128; with Creed, pp. 

129, 192, 322, 343 . 264 

Death of Dionysius of Alexandria, p. 108 264 

Paulus deposed, p. 3 272 

Quarto-decimans of the Proconsulate come to an end, 

p. 14 276 

Theonas, Bishop of Alexandria, p. 66 282 

Hosius, Bishop of Corduba, pp. 249, 254, 289, 323 . 295 

Meletian Schism in Egypt, pp. 239, 281-2 . . • . 306 

Donatist Schism in Africa, p. 245 306 

Constantine's vision of the Labarum, p. 246. . . . 312 

Lucian, martyred, p. 8 312 

Edict of Milan, p. 245. . . . , 313 

Eusebius^ Bishop of Nicomedia, p. 260 • • • • • 319 

Chronological Table. 

iUius, heiesiarch, 

pp. : 

. 237 ■ 


.\lexander excommunicates and ivrites against Arius, 

pp. 217, 238 32° 

Battle of Hadrianople, pp. 241, 247 32^^ 

Constantine writes to Athanasius and Ariiis, p. 247 . 324 

Ecumenical Council of Nicsea, p. 250 325 

Audius, the Quarto-deciman in Mesopotamia, p. 15 . 325 

Alhanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, p. 266 326 

Arius recalled from exile, p. a66 330 

Eustathius, Bishop of Antioch, deposed by the Arians, 

pp. 280, 360 331 

Eusebian Council of Cffisarea, p. z8z . . . . . , 333 
And of Tyre, ibid. Marcellus, Bishop of Ancyra, de- 
posed, pp. 280, 313 335 

Athanasius banished to Treves, p. 2S4. 335 

Death of Arius, p. 269 336 

t)eath of Constantine, who is succeeded in the East 

by Constantius, p. 280 337 

IDeath of Eusebius of Csesarea, who is succeeded by 

Acaciu.s, p. 27s 340 

.Assemblage of exiled Bishops at Rome, Council at 

Rome, p. 285 340 

Xusebian Council of the Dedication at Antioch, p. 285, 

Semi-Arian Creed of Lucian, pp. 286, 322, 343, . 341 
Semi-Arian Creed of Antioch, called the Macrosttcli, 

P- 287 . 345 

Oreat Council of Sardica, pp. 289, 313 347 

^usebian Council, p. 289, and Semi-Arian Creed, p. 

342, of Pliilippopolis 347 

Council of Milan, p. 292 347 

Athanasius returns from exile, pp. 290, 360 .... 348 

Formal recantation of Valens and Ursacius, p. 251 , 349 

Death of Constans, p. 303 350 

Poulus of Constantinople martjTed, p. 311 .... 350 

chronological Table, 

Battle of Miirsa,p. 278 

Kusebian Council, pp. 314, 336, with Semi-Arian 
Creed of Sirmiura, against Photinus,pp,3i4, 322, 


Eusebian Council of Axles, pp. 314, 315 .... 
Eusebian Council of Milan, p. 316 .,.,,,. 

Hilary exiled in Phrygia, p, 300 ^ 

Liberius tempted, p. 318 ; 

Syrianus and George in Alexandria, p. 329 . , . . j 

Aetius and Eunomius, Anomceans, p. 337 . , . . j 
Eusebian or Acacian Conferences and Creeds of Sir- 

mium ; fall of Liberius and Hosius, pp. 333 — 

' 3z6, 341 I 

Acacian Council of Antiocli, p. 341 3 

Semi-Aiian Council of Ancyra, pp. 300, 341 ... 3 
Acacian Councils of Seleucia (p. 345) and Ariminum, 

P-348 3 

Eudoxius at Constantinople, p. 361 3 

Acacian Council at Constantinople, pp. 347, 351, 358 3 
Meletius, Bishop of Ancioch, p. 361, Deatli of Con- 

stantius, pp. 344, 352 3 

Julian restores the exiled Bishops, p. 353 3 

Council of Alexandria, p. 355 3 

Schism of Antioch, p. 364. i 

Semi-Arian Council of Lampsacus, p. 377 . . . . ; 
Fifty-nine Semi-Arian Bishops accept tlie Jfomoutioit, 

P-378 ; 

Apollinaris, heresiarch, p. ^21 , 

Basil, Exarch of Oesarea, p. 375 , , 

Death of Eudoxius, p. 379 

Eighty Catholic Clei^y burned at sea, 380 .... 

Persecution of Catholics, p. 380 

Athanosius excommunicates one of the dukes of Lybia 

P- 374 

Chronological Table. 40 r 


Athanasius, 374. » • 373 

Valens, p. 380 378 

us, Emperor, p. 38/ 379 

^Tazianzen at Constantinople, ibid . . . . 379 

:al Council of Constantinople, pp. 373, &c . 381 

, Quarto-deciman, p. 17 ..•..• • 395 

L' J 


{Vide Sujira, p. 8.) 

RliTCM lias been written at home, and more has come to us 
from abroad, on the subject of the early Syrian theology, 
since this Volume was published At that time, it was at 
Oxford considered a paradox to look to Antioch for the 
origin of a heresy which takes its name from an Alexandrian 
ecclesiastic, and which Mosheim had ruled to be one out of 
many instances of the introduction of Neo-Platonic ideas 
into the Christian Church. The Divinity Professor of the 
day, a learned and kind man. Dr. Burton, in talking \vith me 
on the subject, did but qualify his surprise at the view 
■whicli I had taken, by saying to me, " Of course you have a 
right to your own opinion." Since that time, it has become 
dear, from the works of Neander and others, that Arianism 
'Was but one out of various errors, traceable to one and the 
same mode of theologizing, and that mode, as well as the 
errors it originated, the characteristics of the Syrian school. 
. have thought it would tlirow hght on the somewhat 
[iXneagre account of it at the begimiiug of this Volume, if I 
L-liere added a passage on the same subject, as contained in 
e of tny subsequent works^. 

The Churches of Syria and Asia Minor were the m» 
' intellectual portion of early Christendom. Alexandria w 

" Essay an the Deve 

ipmcnt uf Chiisiii 
D D 2 

404 Appendix. 

but one metropolis in a large region, and contained the philo- 
sophy of the whole Patriarchate; but Syria abounded in 
wealthy and luxurious cities, the creation of the Seleucidae, 
where the arts and the schools of Greece had full opportuni- 
ties of cultivation. For a time too, — ^for tlie first two hundred 
years, as some think, — ^Alexandria was the only See as well 
as the only School of Egypt ; while Syria was divided into 
small dioceses, each of which had at first an authority of 
its own, and which, even after the growth of the Patriarchal 
power, received their respective bishops, not from the See of 
Antioch, but from their own metropolitan. In Syria too the 
schools were private, a circumstance which would tend both 
to diversity in religious opinion, and incaution in the ex- 
pression of it ; but the sole catechetical school of Egypt was 
the organ of the Church, and its Bishop could banish Origen 
for speculations which developed and ripened with impunity 
in S)Tia. 

But the immediate source of that fertility in heresy, which 
is the unhappy distinction of the Syrian Church, was its 
celebrated Exegetical School. The history of that school is 
summed up in the broad characteristic fact, on the one hand 
that it devoted itself to the literal and critical interpretation 
of Scripture, and on the other that it gave rise first to the 
Arian and then to the Nestorian heresy. In all ages of the 
Church, her teachers have shown a disinclination to confine 
themselves to the mere literal interpretation of Scripture. 
Her most subtle and powerful method of proof, whether in 
ancient or modem times, is the mystical sense, which is so 
frequently used in doctrinal controversy as on many occasions 
to supersede any other. In the early centuries we find this 
method of interpretation to be the very ground for receiving 
as revealed the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. Whether we 
betake ourselves to the Ante-Nicene writers or the Nicene, 
certain texts will meet us, which do not obviously refer to 
that doctrine, yet are put forward as palmary proofs of it 


On ihe other hand, if evidence be wanted of the connexion of 
heterodoxy and biblical criticism in that age, it is found in 
the fact that, not long after their contemporaneous appear- 
ance in Syria, they are found combined in the person of 
Theodore of Heraclea, so called from the place both of his 
birth and his bishoprick, an able commentator and an active 
enemy of SL Athanasius, though a Thracian unconnected 
except by sympathy with the Patriarchate of Antioch. The 
case had been the same in a still earlier age ; — the Jews 
dung to the literal sense of the Old Testament and rejected 
the Gospel; the Christian Apologists proved its divinity by 
means of the allegorical. The formal connexion of this mode 
of interpretation mth Christian dieology is noticed by 
Porphyry, who speaks of Origen and others as borrowing it 
from heathen philosophy, both in explanation of the Old 
Testament and in defence of their on-n doctrine. It may 
almost be laid down as an historical fact that the mystical 
interpretation and orthodoxy will stand or fall together. 

This is clearly seen, as regards the primitive theology, by a 
recent writer, in the course of a Dissertation upon St. Ephrem 
After observing that Theodore of Heraclea, Eusebius, and 
Diodorus gave a systematic opposition to the mystical inter- 
■pretation, which had a sort of sanction from Antiquity and 
the orthodox Church, he proceeds; "Ephrem is not as sober 
in his interpretations, nor could he be, since he was azealous 
<3isciple of the orthodox faith. For all those who are most 
cnainent in sucii sobriety were as far as possible removed from 

ihe faith of the Councils On the other hand, all who 

Tetained the faith of the Church never entirely dispensed 
Tvith tlie spiritual sense of the Scriptures. For the Councils 
■watched over the orthodox faith ; nor was it safe in those 
ages, as we learn especially from the instance of Theodore 
of Mopsuestia, to desert the spiritual for an exclusive culti- 
vation of the literal method. Moreover, tlie allegorical 
teipretation, even when the literal sense was not injured, was 


4o6 Appendix. 

also preserved ; because in those times, when both heretics 
and Jews in controversy were stubborn in their objections to 
Christian doctrine, maintaining that the Messiah was yet to 
come, or denying the abrogation of the Sabbath and cere- 
monial law, or ridiculing the Christian doctrine of the 
Trinity, and especially that of Christ's Divine Nature, imder 
such circumstances ecclesiastical writers found it to their 
purpose, in answer to such exceptions, violently to refer 
every part of Scripture by allegory to Christ and His 

The School of Antioch appears to have risen in the middle 
of the third century ; but there is no evidence to determine 
whether it was a local institution, or, as is more probable, a 
discipline or method characteristic of the Syrian Church. 
Dorotheus is one of its earliest teachers ; he is known as a 
Hebrew scholar, as well as a commentator on the sacred 
text, and he was the master of Eusebius of Caesarea. Lucian, 
the friend of the notorious Paul of Samosata, and. for three 
successive Episcopates after him a seceder from the Church, 
though afterwards a martyr in it, was the editor of a new edi- 
tion of the Septuagint, and master of the chief original 
teachers of Arianism. Eusebius of Caesarea, Asterius called 
the Sophist, and Eusebius of Emesa, Arians of the Nicene 
period, and Diodorus, a zealous opponent of Arianism, but 
the Master of Theodore of Mopsuestia, have all a place in 
the Exegetical School. St. Chrysostom and Theodoret, 
both Syrians, and the former the pupil of Diodorus, adopted 
the literal interpretation, though preserved from its abuse. 
But the principal doctor of the School was the master of 
Nestorius, that Theodore, who has just been mentioned, and 
who with his writings, and with the writings of Theodoret 
against St. Cyril, and the letter written by Ibas of Edessa to 
Maris, was condemned by the fifth QEcumenical Council. 
Ibas translated into Syriac, and Maris into Persian, the 

■ Lengerke, de Ephr. S. pp. 78 — 8o, 



^ooks of Theodore and Diodorus^; and in so doing they 
^ctame the immediate instruments of the formatioa of the 
S*eal Nestorian school and Churcli in farther Asia. 

As many as ten thousand tracts of Theodore are said in 
t^is way to have been introduced to the knowledge of the 
^HThristians of Mesopotamia, Adiabene, Babylonia, and the 
*ieighbouring countries. He was called by those Churches , 
absolutely " the Interpreter," and it eventually became the 
rery profession of the Nestorian communion to follow him as 
" The doctrine of all our Eastern Churches," says the 
Jouncil under the patriarch Marabas, "is founded on the 
Beed of Nicffia; but in the exposition of the Scriptures we 
low St Theodore." " We must by all means remain firm 
I the commentaries of the great Commentator," says the 
^uncil under Sabarjesus ; " whoso shall in any manner op- 
lipose them, or think otherwise, be he anathema*." No one 
fcniice the beginning of Christianity, except Origen and St. 
t-Augiistine, has had such great influence on his brethren as 
f' Theodore ^ 
■ The original Syrian school had possessed very marked 
characteristics, which it did not lose when it passed into a 
new country and into strange tongues. Its comments on 
Scripture seem to have been clear, natural, methodical, appo- 
site, and logically exact. "In all Western Aramjea," says 
Lengerke, that is, in Syria, "there was but one mode of 
treating whether exegetics or doctrine, the practical^." Thus 
JSusebiiis of Csesarea, whether as a disputant or a commen- 
tator, is confessedly a writer of sense and judgment, and 
Vie belongs historically to the Syrian school, though he does 
not go so far as to c.tcludc the mystical interpretation or to 
' ~ sny the verba! inspiration of Scripture. Again, we see in 

' Asscman. t. 3, p. 30, p. livlii., &c, 

• Asiem. 1. 3, p. 84, Nmo .1. 

' Wegncrn, Prolcg. in Thci.l. Opp. p. i: 

• De K[iluiEm Syr. p. 6[. 

4oS Appendix. 

St. Chrysostom a direct, straightfonvard treatment of the 
sacred text, and a pointed application of it to things and 
persons ; and Theodoret abounds in modes of thinking and 
reasoning which without any great impropriety may be called 
English. Again, St. Cyril of Jerusalem, though he does not 
abstain from allegory, shows the character of his school by 
the great stress he lays upon the study of Scripture, and, I 
may add, by the peculiar clearness and neatness of his style, 
which will be appreciated by a modern reader. 
■ It would have been well, had the genius of the S>Tian 
theology been ever in the safe keeping of men such as St. 
Cyril, St. Chrysostom, and Theodoret ; but in Theodore of 
Mopsuestia, nay in Diodorus before him, it developed into 
those errors, of which Paul of Samosata had been the omen 
on its rise. As its attention was chiefly directed to the 
examination of the Scriptures, in its interpretation of the 
Scriptures was its heretical temper discovered ; and though 
allegory can be made an instrument of evading Scripture 
doctrine, criticism may more readily be turned to the de- 
struction of doctrine and Scripture together. Bent on ascer- 
taining the literal sense, Theodore was naturally led to the 
Hebrew text instead of the Septuagint, and thence to Jewish 
commentators. Jewish commentators naturally suggested 
events and objects short of evangelical as the fulfilment of the 
prophetical announcements, and when it was possible, an 
ethical sense instead of a prophetical. The eighth chapter of 
Proverbs ceased to bear a Christian meaning, because, as 
Theodore maintained, the writer of the book had received the 
gift, not of prophecy, but of wisdom. The Canticles must 
be interpreted literally; and then it was but an easy, or 
rather a necessary step, to exclude the book from the Canon. 
The book of Job too professed to be historical ; yet what was 
it really but a Gentile drama ? He also gave up the books 
of Chronicles and Ezra, and, strange to say, the Epistle of 
St. James, though it was contained in the Peschito Version 



oT his Cbuidi. Ue deoled llut Psalms sxiL and Ixix. applied 
to our Lard ; latbcr he Hmkcd the M es s i anic passages of fe 
whole boaktoEborjof which the e^thPsahn was one, and 
the forty-fifth another The rest he expbined of Hecekutb 
and Zcnibbabel, without denjing that they mLgfat be ac- 
commodated to an evangelical sensed He explained Si. 
Thomas's wotds, " My Lord and my God," as a joyful ex- 
clamacion; and our Lord's, "Recei^'e ye the Holy Ghost," as 
an antidparion of the day of Pentecost. As might be expected, 
he denied the verbal inspiration of Scripture. Also, he held 
that the deluge did not cover the earth ; and, as others 
before him, he was heterodox on the doctrine of original sin, 
and denied the eternity of punishment. 

Maintaining that the real sense of Scripture was, not the 
scope of a Divine Intelligence, but the intention of the mere 
human organ of inspiration, Theodore was led to hold, not 
only that that sense was but one in each text, but that it was 
continuous and single in a context ; thai what was the subject 
of the composition in one verse, must be the subject in the 
next, and that if a Psalm was historical or prophetical in its 
commencement, it was the one or the other to its termina- 
tion- Even that fulness of meaning, refinement of thought, 
subtle versatility of feeling, and delicate reserve or reverent 
suggestiveness, which poets exemplify, seem to have been 
excluded from his idea of a sacred composition. Accordingly, 
if a Psalm contained passages which could not be applied to 
our Lord, it followed that that Psalm did not properly apply 
, to Him at all, except by accommodation. Such at least is the 
doctrine of Cosmas, a writer of Theodore's school, who on 
this ground passes over the tivenly-second, sixty-ninth, and 
Other Psalms, and limits the Messianic to the second, the 
eighth, the forty-fifth, and the hundred and tenth. "David," 
he says, " did not make common to the servants what 
belongs to the Lord* Christ, but what was proper to the 


' t<ngi:[kc, dc Ejiliism Syr. pp. JJ — 75. 
■ ZtinraTov, viJs U Ciom, Tlicsaui. Ep. 

J. 5 '«. 

4IO Appendix. 

Lord he spoke of the Lord, and what was proper to the 
servants, of servants^." Accordingly the twenty-second 
could not properly belong to Christ, because in the begin- 
ning it spoke of the " verba delictorum meorum,^^ A remark- 
able consequence would follow from this doctrine, that as 
Christ was divided from His Saints, so the Saints were divided 
from Christ ; and an opening was made for a denial of the 
doctrine of their cultus^ though this denial in the event has 
not been developed among the Nestorians. But a more 
serious consequence is latently contained in it, and nothing 
else than the Nestorian heresy, viz. that our Lord's manhood 
is not so intimately included in His Divine Personality that 
His brethren according to the flesh may be associated with 
the Image of the One Christ. Here St. Chrysostom point- 
edly contradicts the doctrine of Theodore, though his 
fellow-pupil and friend^ ; as does St. Ephrsem, though a 
Syrian also 2; and St. Basils 

One other characteristic of the Syrian school, viewed as 
independent of Nestorius, should be added : — ^As it tended 
to the separation of the Divine Person of Christ from His 
manhood, so did it tend to explain away His Divine Presence 
in the Sacramental elements. Emesti seems to consider 
that school, in modem language, Sacramentarian : and 
certainly some of the most cogent passages brought by 
modems against the Catholic doctrine of the Eucharist are 
taken from writers who are connected with that school ; as 
the author, said to be St. Chrysostom, of the Epistle to 
Csesarius, Theodoret in his Eranistes, and Facundus. Some 
countenance too is given to the same view of the Eucharist, 
at least in some parts of his works, by Origen, whose lan- 
guage concerning the Incarnation also leans to what was 

* Montf. Coll. Nov. t. 2, p. 227. 

* Roscnmuller, Hist. Interpr, t. 3, p. 278. 
' Lengerke* de Ephr. Syr. pp. 165 — 167. 

* Ernest, de Proph. Mess. p. 462. 


afterwards Nesto nanism. To these may be added Eusebius*, 
-vho, far removed, as he was, from that heresy, was a disciple 
of the Syrian school. The language of the later Nestorian 
writera seems to have been of the same eharacter*. Such 
then on the whole is the character of that theology of Theo- 
dore, which passed from Cilicia and Antioch to Edessa first, 
and then to Nisibis. 

Edessa, the metropolis of Mesopotamia, had remained an 
Oriental city till the third century, when it was made a 
Koman colony by Caracalla". Its position on the confines 
of two empires gave it great ecclesiastical importance, as the 
channel by which the theology of Rome and Greece was 
Conveyed to a family of Christians, dwelling in contempt 
and persecution amid a still heathen world. It was the seat 
of various schools; apparently of a Greek school, where the 
classics were studied as well as theology, wh;re Eusebius of 
Emesa^ had originally been trained, and where perhaps 
Protogenes taught^, 'i'here were Syrian schools attended 
by heathen and Christian youths in common. The cultiva- 
tion of the native language had been an especial object of 
its masters since the time of Vespasian, so that the pure and 
Tcflned dialect went by the name of the Edessene ^. At 
l^essa too St Ephrtem formed his own Syrian school, which 
lasted long after him ; and there too was the celebrated 
Fersian Christian school, over which Maris presided, who 
has been already mentioned as the translator of Theodore 
into Persian '. Even in the time of the predecessor of Ibas 
in the See {before a.d. 435) the Nestorianisra of this Persian 
School was so notorious that Rabbula the Bishop had ex- 

• EcoLTheol. iij. ii. 

• Pniressor Lee's Serm. Oct. i8.i8, pp. 144 — iji. 

• Noris. Opp. t. I, p. tli. 

' Au^sti. EuEcb. Em. Opp. 

' Asscmaa. p. cmxxv. ' Hoffman, Gram. Syr, Priilcg. { 4. 

' The edocalcd Persian? were also acquainied with Syiiac. — Asscmi 
L), p, 3JI, Note. 

4 1 2 Appendix. 

pelled its masters and scholars 2; and they, taking refuge 
in the country with which they were connected, had intro- 
duced the heresy to the Churches subject to the Persian 

Something ought to be said of these Churches ; though 
little is known except what is revealed by the fact, in itself 
of no slight value, that they had sustained two persecutions 
at the hands of the heathen government in the fourth and 
fifth centuries. One testimony is extant as early as the end 
of the second century, to the effect that in Parthia, Media, 
Persia, and Bactria there were Christians who "were not 
overcome by evil laws and customs^." In the early part 
of the fourth century, a Bishop of Persia attended the 
Nicene Council, and about the same time Christianity is 
said to have pervaded nearly the whole of Assyria*. Mon- 
achism had been introduced there before the middle of the 
fourth century, and shortiy after commenced that fearful 
persecution in which sixteen thousand Christians are said 
to have suffered. It lasted thirty years, and is said to have 
recommenced at the end of the century. The second per- 
secution lasted for at least another thirty years of the next, 
at the very time when the Nestorian troubles were in pro- 
gress in the Empire. Trials such as these show the popu- 
lousness as well as the faith of the Churche* in those parts ; 
and the number of the Sees, for the names of twenty-seven 
Bishops are preserved who suffered in the former persecution. 
One of them was apprehended together with sixteen priests, 
nine deacons, besides monks and nuns of his diocese; another 
with twenty-eight companions, ecclesiastics or regulars; 
another with one hundred ecclesiastics of different orders ; 
another with one hundred and twenty-eight ; another with 
his chorepiscopus and two hundred and fifty of his clergy. 
Such was the Church, consecrated by the blood of so many 

^ Asscman. p. Ux. * Euseb. Prsp. vi. lo. 

* Tillcmont, Mem. t. 7, p. 77. 




Appendix. 413 

inartyrs, wliich immediately after its glorious conf^ssioD fell 
a prey to the theology of Theodore ; and which through a 
succession of ages discovered tlie energy, when it had lost 
the purity of saints, 

The members of the Persian school, who had been driven 
out of Edessa by Rabbula, found a wide field open for their 
exertions under the pagan government with which they had 
taken refuge. The Persian monarchs, who had often pro- 
hibited by edict* the intercommunion of the Church under 
their sway with the countries towards the west, readily 
extended iheir protection to exiles, who professed the means 
of destroying its Catholicity. Barsumas, the most energetic 
of them, was placed iri the metropolitan See of Nisibis, 
ivhere also the fugitive school was settled under the presi- 
dency of another of their party ; while Maris was promoted 
to the See of Ardaschir. The primacy of the Church had 
from an early period belonged to the See of Seleucia in 
Babylonia. Catholicus was the title appropriated to its 
occupant, as well as to the Persian Primate, as being depu- 
ties of the Patriarch of Antioch, and was derived apparently 
from the Imperial dignity so called, denoting their function 
as Procurators-general, or officers-in -chief for the regions in 
■which they were placed. Acacius, another of the Edessene 
party, was put into this principal See, and suffered, if he did 
not further, the innovations of Barsumas, The mode by 
which the latter effected his purposes has been left on 
record by an enemy. " Barsumas accused BatbuKus, the 
Catholicus, before King Phcrozes, whispering, 'These men 
hold the faith of the Romans, and are their spies. Give me 
power against them to arrest them."' " It is said that in 
this way he obtained the death of Barburfus, whom Acacius 
succeeded. Wlien a minority resisted ' the proi ess of schism, 
A penecution followed. The death of seven thousand seven 
m, ch. 47. 

414 Appendix. 

hundred Catholics is said by Monophysite authorities to 
have been the price of the severance of the Chaldaic Churches 
from Christendom ®. Their loss was compensated in the 
eyes of the government by the multitude of Nestorian 
fugitives, who flocked into Persia from the Empire, numbers 
of them industrious artisans, who sought a country where 
their own religion was in the ascendant. 

The foundation of that religion lay, as we have already 
seen, in the literal interpretation of Scripture, of which 
Theodore was the principal teacher. The doctrine, in which 
it formerly consisted, is known by the name of Nestorius : 
it lay in the ascription of a human as well as a Divine Per- 
sonality to our Lord ; and it showed itself in den)dng the 
title of " Mother of God " or ^cotokos, to St Mary. As 
to our Lord's Personality, it is to be observed that the 
question of language came in, which always serves to perplex 
a subject and make a controversy seem a matter of words. 
The native Syrians made a distinction between the word 
" Person," and " Prosopon," which stands for it in Greek ; 
they allowed that there was one Prosopon or Parsopa, as 
they called it, and they held that there were two Persons. 
It is asked what they meant hy parsopa: the answer seems 
to be, that they took the word merely in the sense of 
character or aspect^ a sense familiar to the Greek prosopon^ 
and quite irrelevant as a guarantee of their orthodoxy. 
It follows moreover that, since the aspect of a thing is its 
impression upon the beholder, the personality to which they 
ascribed unity must have lain in our Lord's manhood, and 
not in His Divine Nature. But it is hardly worth while 
pursuing the heresy to its limits. Next, as to the phrase 
" Mother of God," they rejected it as unscriptural ; they 
maintained that St. Mary was Mother of the humanity of 
Christ, not of the Word, and they fortified themselves by 
the Nicene Creed, in which no such title is ascribed to 


• Asseman. t. 2, p. 403, t. 3, p. 393. 

Appendix. 4 1 5 

atevei might be the obscurity or the plausibility of 
their original dogma, there is nothing obscure or attractive 
in the developments, whether of doctrine or of practice, in 
which it issued. The first act of the exiles of Edessa, on 
their obtaining power in the Chaldean communion, was to 
abolish the celibacy of the clergy, or, in Gibbon's forcible 

Ivords, to allow " the public and reiterated nuptials of the 
^ests, the bishops, and even the patriarch himself" 
fersumas, the great instrmnent of the cliange of religion, 
ps the first to set an example of the new usage, and is 
wen said by a Ncstorian writer to have married a nun . 
^ passed a Canon at Councils, held at Seleucia and else- 
lliere, that Bishops and priests might marry, and might 
renew their wives as often as they lost them. The Catholic 
who followed Acacius went so far as to extend the benefit 
of the Canon to Monks, that is, to destroy the Monastic 
order; and his two successors availed themselves of this 
liberty, and are recorded to have been fathers. A restriction, 
lowever, was aftenvards placed upon the Catholic, and upon 
the Episcopal order. 

Such were the circumstances, and such the principles, 
under which the See of Seleucia became the Rome of the 
East In the course of time the Catholic took on himself 
the loftier and independent title of Patriarch of Babylon ; 
and though Seleucia was changed for Ctesiphon and for 
Bagdad', still the name of Babylon was preserved from first 

■ last as a formal or ideal Metropolis. In the time of the 
iliphs, it was at the head of as many as twenty-five Arch- 
shops ; its Communion extended from China to Jerusalem ; 
I uid its numbers, with those of the Monophysites, are said to 

have surpassed those of the Greek and Latin Churches 

cman. t. 3, p. 67. 


4 1 6 Appendix. 




( Vide supra, p. 240.) 

Already in the Notes (Oxf.) on Athanasius (Ath. Tn pp. 
272 — 280), and in Dissert. Theolog. iii. I have explained 
my difficulty in following Bull and others in the interpreta- 
tion they assign to certain statements made in the first 
age of the Church concerning the Divine Sonship. Those 
statements, taken in their letter, are to the effect that our 
Lord was the word of God before He was the Son ; that, 
though, as the Word, He was from eternity, His gennesis is 
in essential connexion both with the design and the fact of 
creation ; that He was born indeed of the Father apart from 
all time, but still with a definite relation to that beginning of 
time when the creation took place, and though bom, and 
not created, nevertheless born definitely in order to create. 
Before the Nicene Council, of the various Schools of the 
Church, the Alexandrian alone, is distinctly clear of this doc- 
trine ; and even after the Council it is found in the West, in 
Upper Italy, Rome, and Africa ; France, as represented by 
Hilary ^ and Phcebadius, having no part in it. Nay, at Nicaea 
when that doctrine lay in the way of the Council to condemn 
it, it was not distinctly condemned, though to pass it over was 
in fact to give it some countenance. Bull indeed considers it 
was even recognized indirectly by the assembled Fathers, in 
their anathematizing those who contradicted its distinctive 
formula, " He was before He was born ; " in this (as I have 

' Vide however Hilar, in Matt xxxi 3; but he corrects himself, de 
Trin. xiL 



- ..1 the Notes on Atlianasius), 1 cannot agree with him, 
^^ at least it is unaccountable that the Fathers should not 
^^e guarded their anathema, from Bull's easy misinterpre- 
^tion of It, if the opinion which it seems to countenance 
*a!5 as much reprobated then, as it rightly is now. 

The opinion which I have been describing is, as far as 
^ords go, definitely held by Justin, Tatian, Theophilus, 
"lethodius, in the East ; by Hippolytus, TertuUian, Nova- 
tian, Lactantius, Zeno, and Victorinus, in the West; and 
that with so plain an identity of view in these ^-arlous 
Writers, and with such exact characteristics, that we cannot 
explain it away into carelessness of writing, personal idio- 
syncracy, or the influence of some particular school ; but are 
forced to consider it as the common property of them all, 
So that we may interpret one nxiter by the other, and 
illustrate or supply from the rest what is obscure or deficient 

For instance: Justin says, " He ivas begotten, when God 
at the beginning through Him created and adorned all 
things " (Ap. ii. 6). " Not a perfect Sonj without the flesh, 
Ihough a perfect Word," says Hippolytus, " being the Only- 
fcegottcn, . . . whom God called ' Son,' because He was to 
become such" (contr. Noet. 15 ). . . "There was a time 
■when the Son was not," says TertuUian (adv. Herm, 3); 
■'He proceeds unto a birth," says Zeno, ^*Ht who was, 
liefore He was born " (Tract, ii. 3). 

There can be no doubt what the literal sense is of words 
these, and that in consequence they require some 
immodation in order to reconcile them with the received 
itholic teacliing de Deo and de SS. Trimtate. It is the 
object of Bull, as of others after him, to effect this recon- 
ciliation. He thinks it a plain duty both to the authors in 
question and to the Church, at whatever cost, to reconcile 
Ihcir statements in all respects with the orthodox belief; 
but unless he had felt it a duty, I do not think he 1; 



418 Appendix. 

have ventured upon it. He would have taken them in theii: -*^ -^^ 
literal sense, had he found them in the writing of som^^ -^^ 
Puritan or Quaker. If so, his defence of them is but a^s- 3- 
confirmation of a foregone conclusion ; he starts with the^^ ^^ 
assumption that the words of the early writers cannot meaner"*: n 
what they naturally do mean ; and, though this bias is^^ -*s 
worthy of all respect, still the fact that it exists is a call o 
us to examine closely arguments which without it woul 
not have been used. And what I have said of Bull applies ^^^-s 
of course to others, such as Maran and the Ballerini, who 
have followed in his track. 

Bull then maintains that the terms " generation," " birth,*' 
and the like, which occur in the passages of the authors in 
question, must be accommodated to a literary sense, that is, 
taken figuratively, or impropri^^ to mean merely our Lord's 
going forth to create, and the great manifestation of the Son- 
ship made in and to the universe at its creation ; and on 
these grounds : — i. The terms used cannot be taken literally, 
from the fact that in those very passages, or at least in other 
passages of the same authors. His co-eternity with the Father 
is expressly affirmed. 2. And they must be taken figura- 
tively, first, because in those passages they actually stand 
in connexion with mention of His forthcoming or mission 
to create ; and next, because unsuspected authors, such as 
Athanasius, distinctly connect His creative office with His 
title of " First-born," which belongs to His nature. 

Now I do not think these arguments will stand ; as to the 
negative argument, it is true that the Fathers, who speak of 
the gennesis as having a relation to time and to creation, do 
in the same passages or elsewhere speak of the eternity of 
the Word. Doubtless ; but no one says that these Fathers 
deny His eternity, as the Word, but His eternity as the Son, 
Bull ought to bring passages in which they declare the Son 
and His gennesis to be eternal. 

As to the positive argument, if they recognized, as he thinks, 



any ^rM/KsiJ besides that which liad a relation to creation, and 
wiiich he maintains to be only figuratively a gennms, viz. an 
eternal gtnnesis from the substance of the Father, why do 
they not say so? do they ever compare and contrast the 
hvo births with each other? do they ever recognize them 
as two, one real and eternal, the other just before time ; the 
one proper, the other metaphorical? We know they held 
a.gennesis in order to creation, or with a relation to time; 
what reason have we for holding that they held any other ? 
and what reason for saying that the gmmsis which they 
connect with creation was not in their minds a real geanests, 
that is, such agentusis as we all now hold, all but, as they 
expressly state, its not being from eternity? 

In other words, what reason have we for saying that the 
term gennesis is figurative in their use of it ? It is true 
indeed that both the Son's gennesis and also His forthcoming, 
mission, or manifestation are sometimes mentioned together 
by these writers in the same sentence ; but that does not prove 
ihey are not in their minds separate Divine acts ; for His crea- 
tion of the world is mentioned in such passages too, and as 
His creation of the world is not His mission, therefore His 
mission need not be His ^eniusis ; and again, as His crea- 
ting is (in their teaching) concurrent with His mission, so 
His mission may (in their teaching) be concurrent with His 

Nor ate such expositions of the title " First-born of crea- 
tion," as Athanasius has so beautifully given us, to the purpose 
of Bull. Bull takes it to show that ^nnais may be con- J 
sidered to be a mission or forthcoming ; whereas Athanasius 
does not mean by the " First-bom " any gennesis of our Lord 
trom the Father at all, but he simply means His coming to 
ihe creature, that is, His exalting the creature into a Divine 
wnshipbyaunion with His own Sonship. The ff^rrf applies 
His own Sonship to the creation, and makes Himself, who is 
the real Son, the first and the representative of a family of 
E E 2 

420 Appendix^ 

adopted sons ; ^ the term expresses a relation, not towards 
God, but towards the creature. This Athanasius says ex- 
pressly : " It is nowhere written [of the Son] in the Scrip- 
tures, ' the First-born of God^ nor ' the creature of God^ but 
it is * Only-begotten,' and ' Son,' and * Word,' and * Wisdom,' 
that have relation to the Father. The same cannot be both 
Only-begotten and First-bom, except in different relations, 
— Only-begotten because of His gennesis, First-bom because 
of His condescension." Thus Athanasius expressly denies 
that, because our Lord is First-bom at and to the creation, 
therefore He can be said to be begotten at the creation ; 
" Only-begotten " is internal to the Divine Essence ; " First- 
born " external to It : the one is a word of nature, the other, 
of office. If then the authors, whom Bull is defending, 
had wished to express a figurative gemjesis, they would 
always have used the word " First-bom," never " Only- 
begotten :" and never have associated the generation from 
the Father with the coming forth to create. It is true they 
sometimes associate the Word's creative office with the term 
" First-born ;" but they also associate it with " Only-begotten." 
There seems no reason then why the words of Theophilus, 
Hippolytus, and the rest should not be taken in their obvious 
sense ; and so far I agree with Petavius against Bull, Fabri- 
cius, Maran, the Ballerini, and Routh. But, tliis being 
granted, still I am not disposed to follow Petavius in his 
severe criticism upon those Fathers, and for the following 
reasons : — 

1. They considered the " Theos Logos " to be really dis- 
tinct from God, (that is, the Father,) not a mere attribute, 
quality, or power, as the Sabellians did, and do. 

2. They considered Him to be distinct from God from 

3. Since, as Dionysius says, "He who speaks is father 
of his words," they considered the Logos always to be of the 
nature oi a Son. Hence Zeno says He was from everlasting 

» [(1890, AJif) ; adopted, that is, through the grace of Him, who is in 
^is nature, from otcrnity, thc.Onc and Only Son of God.] 



" Villi D 

sine affedii," and Hippolytus, Te'Atios Xoyor, Siv 

4. They considered, to use the Scripture term, that He 
^'as "in uiero Patris" before His actual gmnesis. Victo- 
*'i.iius applies the word " fetus " to Him ; " Non enim fcetus 
Ion est ante partum ; sed in occulto est ; generatio est 
ttianifestatio " (apud Gallaud, v. 8, p. 146,001.3). Zenosays 
that He " prodivit ex ore Dei ut renim naturam fingeret," 
'* cordis ejus nobilis inquilinus," and was embraced by the 
Father " profundo sues sacrE mentis arcaiio sine reveiamine." 

5. Hippojytus even considered that the perfection of His 
Sonship was not attained till His incarnation, reAeios Aoyos 
vjIos aTtXijs; but cven he recognized the identity of the Son 
with the Logos. 

6. Furtlier, this change of the Logos into the Son was 
internal to the Divine Mind, TcrtulJ. adv. Prax. 8, contr. 
Hermog. 18, and therefore was unlike the probole oi the 


7. Such an opinion was not only not inconsistent with the 
_^ *msiision, but implied it. It took for granted that the 
Son was from the substance of the Father, and con substantial 
■vith Him ; though it implied a very defective view of the 
immutability and simplicity of the Divine Essence. 

5. Accordingly, though I cannot allow that it was actually 
protected at the Council by the anathema on those who said 
that our Lord "' was not before He was bom," at least it was 
passed over on an occasion when the Arian error had to be 

lefinitively reprobated. 
This may be said in its favour : but then, on the other 

I. It seriously compromised, as I have said, the simplicity 
id immutability of the Divine Essence. 

It could be resolved, wilb very little alteration, into 
imi-Aiianism on the one hand, or into Sabellianism onth^ 



3. On this account it had all along been resisted with 
definiteness and earnestness bytheFathers of theAlexandnan 
School, by whom finally it was eradicated. Origen urges the 
doctrine of the aiLytnUi "Perfect Son from Perfect Father," 
says Gregory Thaum at urgus in his creed; "Tlie Father being 
everiasting tlie Son is everlasting," says Dionysius; "The 
Father," says Alexander, " is ever Father of the ever-present 
Son," and Athanasius reprobates the Xoyo« hi t» BtZ oreX^ 
ytiTTjflfis T«\tios (Oral. iv. 11). Hence Gregory Nazianzcn 4 
in like manner conderans the artXii trpoTtpoi-, iira rcXtu* -^^ 
uxnrtp vo/tos rj/iirtpo^ ytvtVtdu (Orat. XX. 9, fin.). And .^^ 
at length it was classed, and duly, among the heresies. - 
" Alia (hEecesis)," says Augustine, " sempitemfe natum non in — .^ 
telligens Filium.putat illam nativitatem sumpsisse ^ tempor^^^ 
initium ; et tamen volens coKtemum Patri FiUlim confitenaf _ 
apud ilium fuisse, antequim de illo nasceretur, existimat ; ho-^^ 
est, semper eum fuisse, vcruntamen semper eum Filiuni ao-rj 
fuisse, sed ex quo de illo natus est, Filium esse ccepissc "* 
(Hxr. 50). 

However, this subject should be treated at greater leogtfi 
that I can allow it here. (Vide Tracts Theol. and Eeclcsy 

N.B. — The above addition (page 420) is in conseqoemc 
of a misunderstanding, which leads me to repeat, nu», 
1890, as ever, that what I have here written is subject la 
the judgment of Holy Church. 



( Fide supra, /. 3 1 4-) 
1.1). 351. Cot^ession against P/ioHnus. 
(First Sirmian Council). 

Bfms Confession was published at a Council of Eastern 
Bishops (Coustant. in Hi!, p. 1174, Note 1 ), and was drawn 
up by the whole body, Hil. de Syn. 37 {according to Sir- 
mond. Diatr. i. Sirm, p. 366, Petavius de Trin. i. 9. § 8. 
Animadv. in Epiph. p. 318 init, and Coustant. in Hil. 1. c) ; 
cr by Basil of Ancyra (as Valesius conjectures in Soz. iv. 
23, and Larroquanus, de Liberio, p. 147); or by Mark of 
Arethusa, Socr, ii. 30, but Socrates, it is considered, con- 
fuses together the dates of the different Confessions, and 
this ascription is part of his mistake (vide Vales, in loc, 
Coustant in HiL deSyn. 1. c.j Petav. Animad. in Epiph. I.e.). 
It was written in Greek. 

Til! Petavius, Socrates was generally followed in ascribing 
all lliree Sirmian Confessions to tliis one Council, though at 
tlie same time he was generally considered mistaken as to 
the year. E. g. Baronius places them all in 357. Sirmond 
defended Baronius against Petavius (though in Facund. x. 6, 
Note c, he agrees irith Petavius) ; and, assigning the third 
Confession to 359, adopted the improbable conjecture of two 
Councils, the one Catholic and the other Arian, held at 
Siimium at the same time, putting forth respectively the 
first and second Creeds, somewhat after the manner of the 
contemporary rival Councils of Sardica. Pagi. Natalis 


L of Alhan 


424 Appendix. 

Alexander, Valesius, de Marca, Tilleraont, S. Basnage, Mont 
faucon, Coustant, Larroquanus agree with Petavius in 
placing the Council, at which Photinus was deposed and 
the Confession published, in a.d. 351. Mansi dates it at 


Gothofred considers that there were two or three successive 

Councils at Sirmiura, between a.d. 357 and 359 (in Philo- 
storg. Index, pp. 74, 75 ; Dissert, pp. 200. 211 — 214). Peta- 
vius, and Tillemont, speak of three Councils or Conferences 
held in a.d. 351. 357, and 359. Mansi, of three in 358, 
359 ; Zaccaria (Dissert. 8) makes in all five, 349 (in which 
Photinus was condemned ), 351; 357 (in which Hosius 
lapsed); 357 (foUo^ving Valesius and Pagi); and 359. 
Mamachi makes three, 351. 357. 359; Basnage four, 351. 


This was the Confession which Pope Liberius signed, 

according to Baronius, Natalis Alexander, and Coustant in 

Hil. Note n. pp. 1335 — 1337, and as Tillemont thinks 

probable. Zaccaria says it is the general opinion, in which 

he is willing to concur (p. 18). 

It would appear (Ath. Tr. p. 114, b.) that Photinus was 
condemned at Antioch in the Macrostich, a.d. 345 ; at Sar- 
dica, 347 ; at Milan, 348 ; and at his own See, Sirmium, 
351, if not there, in 349 also ; — however, as this is an intri- 
cate point on which there is considerable difference of 
opinion among critics, it may be advisable to state here 
the dates of his condemnation as they are determined by 
various writers. 

Petavius (de Photino Haeretico, i) enumerates in all five 
condemnations : — i. at Constantinople, a.d. 336, when Mar- 
cellus was deposed. 2. At Sardica, a.d. 347. 3. At Milan, 
A.D. 347. 4. At Sirmium, a.d. 349. 5. At Sirmium, when 
he was deposed, a.d. 351. Of these the 4th and 5th were 
first brought to light by Petavius. who omits mention of the 
Macrosticli in 345. 

Appendix. 425 

yetavius is followed fay Natalis Alexander, Montfaucon 
^L Athan.), and Tilleinoiit; and by De Marca ( Diss, de 
lemp. Syn. Sirm.) and S. Basmge ('\.nm.les), and Valesius 
(b Theod, Hist, il 16. p. 23 ; Socr 11 20), as regards the 
Council of Milan, except that Valesius places it with Sir- 
mond in 346 ; but for the Council of Sirraium in 349, they 
substitute a Council of Rome of the same date, while De 
Marca considers Photinus condemned again in the Eusebian 
Council of Milan in 355. De la Roque, on the other hand 
(LaiToquan. Dissert de Photino Hser.), considers that Pho- 
tinus was condemned, 1. in the Macrostich, 344 [345]. a. 
At Sardica, 347. 3. At Milan, 348. 4. At Sirmium, 35a 
J. At Sirmium, 351. Zaccaria, besides 345 and 347; at 

Milan, 347; at Sirmiumj 349 j at Sirmium again, 351, when 

he was deposed. 

Petavius seems to stand alone in assigning to the Council 

of Constantinople, 336, his first condemnation. 

^^V9. A.D. 357. The Blasph(tny of Poiamius and Hosius 
(Second SJnnian). 

Hilary calls it by the above title, de Syn. 11 ; vide also 
Son. iv. 12, p. 554. He seems also to mean it by the 
"blasphemia Ursacii et Valentis, contr. Const. 26. 

This Confession was the first overt act of disunion betweea 
-Arians and Semi-Arians. 

Sirmond, De Marca, and Valesius ( in Socr. ii 30), after 
Thoebadius, think it put forth by a Council ; rather, at a 
Conference of a few leading Arians about Constantius, who 
seems to have been present ; e. g. Ursaciiis, Valens, and 
Germinius. Soz. iv. iz. Vide also Hil. Fragm. vi. 7. 

It was written in Latin, Socr. ii. 30, Potaraius wrote 
"erv barbarous Latin, judging from the Tract ascribed to 
him lu '>^;h«l:, Spicileg. t. 3. p. 299, unless it be a trans* 1 

426 Appendix. 

lation from the Greek, vide also Galland. Bibl. t v. p. 9 
Petavius thinks the Creed not written, but merely subscribe-- 
by Potamius (de Trin. i. 9. § 8) ; and Constant (in Hil. 
1155, Note f) that it was written by Ursacius, Valens, an 
Potamius. It is remarkable that the Greek in Athanasius i^ 
clearer than the original. 

This at first sight is the Creed which Liberius sign 
because S. Hilary speaks of the latter as " perfidia Ariana,' 
Fragm. 6. Blondel (Prim, dans I'Eglise, p. 484), Larr 
quanus, &c., are of this opinion. And the Roman Breviary, 
Ed. Ven. 1482, and Ed. Par. 1543, in the Service for S. 
Eusebius of Rome, August. 14, says that " Pope Liberius 
consented to the Arian misbelief," Launnoi, Ep. v. 9. c. 13. 
Auxilius says the same, Ibid. vi. 14. Animadv. 5. n. 18. 
Petavius grants that it must be this, if any of the three 
Sirmian (Animadv. in Epiph. p. 316), but we shall see his 
own opinion presently. Zaccaria says that Hosius signed 
it, but not Liberius ( Diss. 8. p. 20, Diss. 7). Zaccaria 
seems also to consider that there was another Council 
or Conference at Sirmium this same year, and it was at this 
Conference that Liberius subscribed " formulae, quae contra 
Photinum Sirmii edita fuerat, primae scilicet Sirmiensi, in 
unum cum Antiochensi (against Paul of Samosata, also the 
creed of the Dedication) libellum conjectae." Vide infra. 
He says he subscribed it " iterum," the first time being in 

3. A.D. 357. The foregoing interpolated, 

A creed was sent into the East in Hosius's name, Epiph. 
Hcer. 73. 14. Soz. iv. 15, p. 558, of an Anomoean character, 
which the "blasphemia" was not And St Hilary may 
allude to this when he speaks of the " deliramenta Osii, et 
incrcmaita Ursacii et Valenlis," contr. Const 23. An 

Appendix. 427 

lomoean Council of Antioch under Eudoxius of this date, 
*^kes acknowledgments to Ursacius, Valens, and Germinius, 
^02. iv. 12 fin. as being agents in the Arianizing of the 

Petavius and Tillemont consider this Confession to be 
'tie " blasphemia " interpolated. Petavius throws out a 
tiirther conjecture, which seems gratuitous, that the whole 
kA the latter part of the Creed is a later addition, and 
that Liberius only signed the former part Animadv. in 
Epiph. p. 316. 

4. A.D. 358. The Ancyrene Anaihemas, 

The Semi-Arian party had met in Council at Ancyra in 
the early spring of 358 to protest against the " blasphemia," 
and that with some kind of correspondence with the Gallic 
Bishops who had just condemned it, Phoebadius of Agen 
writing a Tract against it, which is still extant. They had 
drawn up and signed, besides a Synodal Letter, eighteen 
anathemas, the last against the " Consubstantial." These, 
except the last, or the last six, they submitted at the end of 
May to the Emperor who was again at Sirmium. Basil, 
Eustathius, Eleusius, and another formed the deputation ; 
and their influence persuaded Constantius to accept the 
Anathemas, and even to oblige the party of Valens, at 
whose " blasphemia " they were levelled, to recant and 
subscribe them. 

5. A.D. 358. Semi-Arian Digest of Three Confessian^. 

The Semi-Arian Bishops, pursuing their advantage, com- 
posed a Creed out of three, that of the Dedication, the first 
Sirmian, and the Creed of Antioch against Paul, 264 — 270, 
in which the " Consubstantial " is said to have been omitted 
or forbidden, Soz. iv. 15. This Confession was imposed 

428 Appendix. 

by Imperial authority on the Arian party, who signed 
So did Liberius, Soz. ibid. Hil. Fragm. vi. 6, 7 ; and Petavi 
considers that this is the subscription by which he laps 
de Trin. i. 9. § 5, Animadv. in Epiph. p. 316, and so Zai 
caria, as above, and S. Basnage, in Ann. 358. 13. 

It is a point of controversy whether or not the Ariaa 
at this time suppressed the " blasphemia." Socrates an 
Sozomen say that they made an attempt to recall the copi 
they had issued, and even obtained an edict from the Em- 
peror for this purpose, but without avail. Socr. ii. 30 fin— 
Soz. iv. 6, p. 543. 

Athanasius, on the other hand, de Syn. 29, relates this 
substance of the third Confession of Sirmium, not of 
" blasphemia " or second. 

Tillemont follows Socrates and Sozomen, considering thai 
Basil's influence with the Emperor enabled him now to 
insist on a retraction of the " blasphemia." And he argues 
that Germinius in 366, being suspected of orthodoxy, and 
obliged to make profession of heresy, was referred by his 
party to the formulary of Ariminum, no notice being taken 
of the " blasphemia," which looks as if it were suppressed ; 
whereas Germinius himself appeals to the third Sirmian, 
which is a proof that it was not suppressed. HiL Fragm. 
15. Coustant, in Hil. contr. Const. 26, though he does 
not adopt the opinion himself, observes, that the charge 
brought against Basil, Soz. iv. 132, Hil. Lc, by the Acacians, 
of persuading the Africans against the second Surmian is an 
evidence of a great effort on his part, at a time when he had 
the Court with him, to suppress it We have just seen 
Basil uniting with the Gallic Bishops against it 

6. A.D. 359. The Confession with a date 
(Third Sirmian), 

The Serai- Arians, with the hope of striking a further blow 


^heii' opponents by a judgment against the Anoraaans, 
Soz. !v. iG init., seem to have suggested a general Council, 
which ullimatdy became the Councils of Seleucia and Ari- 
minum. If this was their measure, they were singularly 
out-manceuvred by the party of Acacius and Valens, as may 
be seen in Athanasius's de Synodis. A preparatory Con- 
ference was held at Sirmiura at the end of May in this year, 
in which the Creed was determined which should be laid 
before the great Councils then assembling. Basil and Mark 
were the chief Semi \rians present, and in the event became 
committed to an almost \rnn Confession. Son. iv. 16, p. 
562. It was fimlly settled on the E\e of Pentecost, and 
riie dispute lasted till morning Fpiph Htcr. 73, za. Mark 
at length was chosen to drw it up, Soz. iv. 23, p. 573, yet 
Valens so managed that Basil could not sign it without 
an explanation It was written in Latin, Socr. il 30, Soz, 
iv. 17, p. 563. Loustant, ho\\ever, in Hi!, p. irja, note i., 
seems to consider this dispute and Mark's confession to 
belong to the same date (May 22,) in the foregoing year j 
but p. 1363, note b, he 'iccras to change his opinion. 

Petavius, who, Animadv. in Epiph. p. 318, follows So- 
crates in considering that tlie second Simiian is the Confes- 
sion which the Arians tried to suppress, nevertheless, de Trin. 
i, 9, 5 8, yields to the testimony of Athanasius in behalf of 
the third, attribufing the measure to their dissatisfaction 
with the phrase "Like in all things," which Constantius 
had inserted, and with Basil's explanation on subscribing it, 
and to the hopes of publishing a bolder creed which their 
increasing influence with Constaurius inspired. He does 
not think it impossible, however, that an attempt was made 
to suppress both. Coustant, again, in Hil. p. 1363, note b, 
asks wAcn it could be that tlie Eusebians attempted to sup- 
press the second Confession; and conjectures that the ridicule 
which followed their dating of the third and their wish to 
get rid of the " Like in al' things," were the cause.= of ilieir 

430 Appendix. 

anxiety about it. He observes too with considerable specious- 
ness that Acacius's Second formulary at Seleucia (Athanu 
de Syn. 29), and the Confession of Nice (Ibid. 30), resemble 
second editions of the third Sirmian. Valesius, in Socr. iL 
30, and Montfaucon, in Athan. Syn. § 29, take the same 

Pagi in Ann. 357. n. 13, supposes that the third Sirmian 
was the Creed signed by Liberius. Yet Constant in Hil. p. 
1335, note n, speaking of Liberius's " perfidia Ariana," as 
St. Hilary calls it, says, "Solus Valesius existimat tertiam 
[confessionem] hie memorari : " whereas Valesius, making 
four, not to say five, Sirmian Creeds, understands Liberius 
to have signed, not the third, but an intermediate one, 
between the second and third, as Petavius^ does, in Soz. 
iv. 15 and 16. Moreover, Pagi fixes the date as a.d. 358 

This Creed, thus drawn up by a Semi-Arian, with an 
Acacian or Arian Appendix, then a Semi-Arian insertion, and 
after all a Semi-Arian protest on subscription, was proposed 
at Seleucia by Acacius, Soz. iv. 22, and at Ariminum by 
Valens, Socr. ii. 37, p. 132. 

7. A.D. 359. Nicene Edition of the Third Sirmian. 

The third Sirmian was rejected both at Seleucia and Ari- 
minum ; but the Eusebians, dissolving the Council of Se- 
leucia, kept the Fathers at Ariminum together through the 
summer and autumn. Meanwhile at Nice in Thrace they 
confirmed the third Sirmian, Socr. ii. 37, p. 141, Theod 
Hist. ii. 16, with the additional proscription of the word 
hypostasis ; apparently lest the Latins should by means of it 
evade the condemnation of the " consubstantial." This 
Creed, thus altered, was ultimately accepted at Ariminurn ; 
and was confirmed in January 360 at Constantinople ; Socr. 
iL 41, p. 163. Soz. iv. 24 init. 

Appendix. 43 1 

Liberius retrieved his fault on this occasion ; for, whatever 
7r2& the confession he had signed, he now refused his assent 
to the Ariminian, and, if Socrates is to be trusted, was 
banished in consequence, Socr, ii. 37, p. 140* 

432 Appendix. 


THE TERMS tisia AND hypostasis^ AS USED IN THE 


( Vide supra ^ p, i86.^ 

I. Even before we take into account the effect which would 
naturally be produced on the first Christians by the novelty 
and mysteriousness of doctrines which depend for their 
reception simply upon Revelation, we have reason to antici- 
pate that there would be difficulties and mistakes in expres- 
sing them, when they first came to be set forth by unautho- 
ritative writers. Even in secular sciences, inaccuracy of 
thought and language is but gradually corrected ; that is, 
in proportion as their subject-matter is thoroughly scruti- 
nized and mastered by the co-operation of many independent 
intellects, successively engaged upon it Thus, for instance, 
the word Person requires the rejection of various popular 
senses, and a careful definition, before it can serve for philo- 
sophical uses. We sometimes use it for an individual as 
contrasted with a class or multitude, as when we speak of 
having " personal objections " to another ; sometimes for 
the body^ in contrast to the soul, as when we speak of 
" beauty of person." We sometimes use it in the abstract, 
as when we speak of another as " insignificant in person ; " 
sometimes in the concrete, as when we call him " an insig- 
nificant person." How divergent in meaning are the deri- 
vatives, personable^ personalities^ personify^ personation^ per- 
sonage^ parsonage I This variety arises partly from our own 
carelessness, partly from the necessary developments of 

* From HcitAilaniU^ July, 1858. 

Appendix. q33 

, partly from tlie exuberance of liutiiiin thought, 
partly from the defects of our vernacular tongue. 

Language then requires to be refashioned even for sciences 
which are based on the senses and the reason ; but much 
more will this be tlie case, when we are concerned witl) 
subject-matters, of which, in our present state, we cannot 
possibly form any complete or consistent conception, such 
as the Catholic doctrines of the 'frinity and Incarnation. 
Since they are from the nature of the case above our intel- 
lectual reach, and were unknown till the preaching of Chris- 
tianity, they required on their first promulgation new words, 
or words used in new senses, for their due enunciation; and, 
since these were not definitely supplied by Scripture or by 
tradition, nor, for centuries, by ecclesiastical authority, variety 
in the use, and confusion in the apprehension of them, were 
unavoidable in the interval. This conclusion is necessarj% 
admitting the premisses, antecedently to particular instances 
in prooC 

Moreover, there is a presumption equally strong, that 
the variety and confusion that I have anticipated, would 
in matter of fact issue here or there in actual heterodoxy, 
as often as the language of theologians «'as misunderstood 
by hearers or readers, and deductions were made from it 
which the teacher did not intend. Thus, for instance, the 
word Person, used in the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, 
"Would on first hearmg suggest Tritheism to one who made 
llie word sjTionjmous with individual ; and Unitarianism 
*o another, who accepted it in the classical sense of a mask 
«r charade i: 

Even to this da> our theological language is (vanting in 
■nccuracy ; thus, we sometimes speak of the controversies 
<:oiiteniing the Puson of Christ, when we mean to include 
;. them those also which belong to the two natures whidi 
j^redicated of Him. 
udced, tlie difficulties of forming a theological phraseology 

434 Appendix. 

for the whole of Christendom were obviously so great, thai 
we need not wonder at the reluctance which the first ag( 
of Catholic divines showed in attempting it, even apart from 
the obstacles caused by the distraction and isolation of the 
churches in times of persecution. Not only had the words 
to be adjusted and explained which were peculiar to different 
schools or traditional in different places, but there was the 
formidable necessit}' of creating a common measure between 
two, or rather three languages, — Latin, Greek, and S)Tiac 
The intellect had to be satisfied, error had to be successfully 
excluded, parties the most contrary to each other, and the 
most obstinate, had to be convinced. The very confidence 
which would be felt by Christians in general that Apostolic 
truth would never fail, — and that they held it in each 
locality themselves and the orhis terrarum with them, in 
spite of all verbal contrarieties, — ^would indispose them to 
define it, till definition became an imperative duty. 

2. I think this plain from the nature of the case; and 
history confirms me in the instance of the celebrated word 
homoilsion, which, as one of the first and most necessary steps, 
so again was apparently one of the most discouraging, in the 
attempt to give a scientific expression to doctrine. This 
formula, as Athanasius, Hilary, and Basil affirm, had been 
disowned, as savouring of heterodoxy, by the great Council 
of Antioch in a.d. 264 — 269 ; yet, in spite of this disavowal 
on the part of Bishops of the highest authority, it was im- 
posed on all the faithful to the end of time in the Ecumenical 
Council of Nicaea, a.d. 325, as the one and only safeguard, 
as it really is, of orthodox teaching. The misapprehensions 
and protests which, after such antecedents, its adoption occa- 
sioned for many years, may be easily imagined. Though 
above three hundred Bishops had accepted it at Nicaea, the 
great body of the Episcopate in the next generation con- 
sidered it inexpedient ; and Athanasius himself, whose im- 
perishable name is bound up with it, showed himself most 

Appendix. 435 

Stious in pulting it forward, though he knew it had the 
sanction of a General Council. Moreover, the word does 
not occur in the Caiechests of St. Cyril of Jerusalem, a.d. 
347, Dor in the recantation made before Pope Julius by 
Ursacius and Valens, a.d. 349, nor in the cross-questionings 
to which St Ambrose subjected Palladius and Secundiajius, 
A.D. 381. At Seleucia, a.d. 359, as many as 100 Eastern 
Bishops, besides the Arian party, were found to abandon it, 
while at Ariminum in the same year the celebrated scene 
took place of 400 Bishops of the West being worried and 
bicked into a momentary act of the same character. They 
had not yet got it deeply fixed into their minds, as a sort 
of first principle, that to abandon the formula was to betray 
the faith. 

T,. This disinclination on the part of Catholics to dogmatic 
definitions was not confined to the instance of the //owfKJ'/l?;;. 
In the use of the word hypostasis, a variation was even 
allowed by the authority of a Council [a.d. 362] ; and the 
circumstances under wbicJi it was allowed, and the possi- 
bility of allowing it, without compromising Catholic truth, 
shall here be considered. 

As to the use of the word. At least in the West, and 
in St, Athanasius's day, it was usual to speak of one 
hypostasis, as of one usia, of the Divine Nature, Thus tlie 
so-called Sardican Creed, a.d. 347, speaks of " one liypostasis, 
which the heretics call usia." Theod. Hist. ii. 8; the Roman 
Council under Damasus, A,d, 371, says that the Three 
Persons are of the same /lypos/asisand wia ; and the Nicene 
Anathema condemns those who say that V-e Son " came 
from other hypostasis or itsia." Epiphanius /oo speaks of 
"one hypostasis," H(Er. 74, 4, Amor. 6 (and though he 
has the hypostases, Her. 6z, 3, 72, i, yet he is shy of the 
plural, and prefers " the hypostatic Father, the liyfostatie 
Son," &C., ibid. 3 and 4, Amor. 6 ; and rpt'o, as Ifier, 74, 4, 
irhere he says "three hypostatic of the same hypostasis;" 
F F 2 


436 Appendix. 

vide also " in hypostasis of perfection," H(Br, 74, w 
Amor. 7 et alibi ); and Cyril of Jerusalem of the " unifoi 
hypostasis'^ of God, Catech. vi. 7, vide also xvi. 12 anc 
xvii. 9 (though the word may be construed one out of three 
in Cat. xi. 3 ) ; and Gregory Nazianzen, Orat. xxviii, 9. 
where he is speaking as a Natural, not as a Christian the( 

In the preceding century Gregory Thaumaturgus hac 
laid it down that the Father and the Son were in hypostasisx^^s 
one, and the Council of Antioch, a.d. 264 — 269, calls th( 
Son in usia and hypostasis God, the Son of God. Routh, 
Jieliq. t. 2, p. 466. Accordingly Athanasius expressly tell 
us, ^^ Hypostasis is usia, and means nothing else but avro r^^'o 
6V," a^ Afros, 4. Jerome says that " Tota sajcularium litte— '^• 
rarum schola nihil aliud hypostasin nisi usiam novit,'' "^ " 
Epist, XV. 4 ; Basil, the Semi-Arian, that " the Fathers hav( 
called hypostasis usia^' Epiph. Hcer, 73, 12, fin. 
Socrates says that at least it was frequently used for usia. 
when it had entered into the philosophical schools. HisiJ!'^^ 
ni. 7. 

On the other hand the Alexandrians, Origen (in yban^ — 
ii. 6 et alibi), Ammonius (ap. Caten. in Joan. x. 30, i: 
genuine), Dionysius (ap. Basil de Sp. S. n. 72), and Alex- 
ander (ap. Theod. Hist. i. 4), speak of more hypostases thj 
one in the Divine Nature, that is, of Three ; and apparently- 
v^rithout the support of the divines of any other school^ 
unless Eusebius, who is half an Alexandrian, be an excep- 
tion. Going down beyond the middle of the fourth century, 
we find the Alexandrian Didymus committing himself to 
bold and strong enunciation of the Three hypostases, (e.g. d< 
Trin. i. 18, &c.), which is almost without a parallel in patris- 
tical literature. 

It was under these circumstances that the Council o: 
Alexandria in a.d. 362, to which I have already referred ^ 
a Council in which Athanasius and Eusebius of Vercellac^ 

r- - ■■} 

Appendix. 437 

e the chief actors, determined to leave tlie sense and use 
of the word open, so that, according to the custom of their 
own church or scliool, Catholics might freely speak of three 
Aypesiases or of one. 

Thus we are brought to the practice of Athe-iasius him- 
selt It is remarkable that he should so far innovate on 
the custom of his oim Church, as to use the word in each of 
these two applications of it. In his In illud Omnia he 
speaks of " the three perfect Hypostases." On the other 
hand, he makes ««a and hypostasis synonymous in Oral. 
iii. 65, 66, Oral. iv. 1 and 33 fin. 

There is something more remarkable still in this iimo- 
vation. Alejtander, his immediate predecessor and master, 
published, a.d. 320 — 324, two forma! letters against Arius, 
one addressed to his namesake of Constantinople, the other 
encyclical. It is scarcely possible to doubt that the latter 
was written by Athanasius; it is so unlike the former in 
style and diction, so hke tlie \vritlngs of Athanasitis. Now 
it is observable that in the former the word hypostasis occurs 
in its Alexandrian sense at least five times ; in the latter, 
which I attribute to Athanasius, it is dropped, and mia is 
introduced, which is absent from the former. Tjiat is, 
Athanasius has, on this supposition, when writing in his 
Bishop's name a formal document, pointedly innovated on 
his Bishop's theological language, and that the received 
language of his own Church, I am not supposing he did 
this witliout Alexander's sanction. Indeed the character 
of the Arian polemic would naturally lead Alexander, as well 
as Athanasius, to be suspicious of their omti formiila of the 
"Three Hypostases" which Ariauism was using against 
them ; and the latter would be confirmed in this feeling by 
his subsequent familiarity with Latin theolo;;^, and the 
usage of the Holy See, which, under Pope Daniasus, as we 
have seen, a.d. 371, spoke of one hypostasis, and in the pre- 
vious century, a.d. 260, protested by antielpation in the 


438 Appendix, 

person of Pope Dionysius against the use, which might 
made in the hands of enemies, of the formula of the Thre 
Hypostases, Still it is undeniable that Athanasius does at 
least once speak of Three, though his practice is to dispense 
with the word and to use others instead of it 

4. Now then we come to the explanation of this difference 
of usage in the application of the word. It is difficult to 
believe that so accurate a thinker as Athanasius really used 
an important term in two distinct, nay contrasted senses; 
and I cannot but question the fact, so commonly taken for 
granted, that the divines of the beginning of the fourth 
century had appropriated any word whatever definitely to 
express either the idea of Person as contrasted with that of 
Essence^ or of Essetue as contrasted with Person. I alto- 
gether doubt whether we are correct in sa)dng that they 
meant by hypostasis, in one country Person, in another-r:*: r 
Essence, I think such propositions should be carefuUy^^^^iy 
proved, instead of being taken for granted, as at present is^^ -*s 
the case. Meanwhile, I have an hypothesis of my own. — -^^• 
I think they used the word both in East and West in-^""^-^ 
one and the same substantial sense; with some accidentals' -^^^^ 
variation or latitude indeed, but that of so slight a character,^ "^ "^> 
as would admit of Athanasius, or any one else, speaking 0^ <z^o\ 
one hypostasis or three, without any violence to that sense^^^^* 
which remained on the whole one and the same. What this^-^ ^^ 
sense is I proceed to explain : — 

The school-men are known to have insisted with greats -^^^^ 
earnestness on the numerical unity of the Divine Being ; eachM^^^ 
of the three Divine Persons being one and the same God,, 
unicus, singularis, et totus Deus. In this, however, they di< 
but follow the recorded doctrine of the Western theologians- 
of the fifth century, as I suppose will be allowed by critics 
generally. So forcible is St. Austin upon the strict unity of 
God, that he even thinks it necessary to caution his readers 
lest they should suppose that he could allow them to speak oT 

One Ptrson as well as of Three in tlie Divine nature de Irin., 
vii. II. Again, in the (so-talled) Athanasian Creed, llie same 
elementary trutli is emphatically insisted on. 'I'he neuter 
amum ol former divines is changed into the masculine, in 
eniinciating the mystery. " Non tres Kterni, sed unus 
aetemua." 1 suppose this means, that each Divine Person is 
"to be received as the one God as entirely and absolutely as He 
■would be held to be, if we had never heard of the other Two, 
and that He is not in any respect less than the one and only 
God, because They are each that same one God also ; or in 
other words, that, as each human individual being has one 
personality, the Divine Being has three. 

Returning then to Athanasius, I consider that this same 
mystery is implied in his twofold application of the word 
hypostasis. The polytheism and pantheism of the heathen 
world imagined, — not the God whom natural reason can 
discover, conceive, and worship, one individual, living, and 
personal, — but a divinilas, which was cither a quality, 
whether energy or life, or an extended substance, or something 
else equally inadequate to tlie real idea which the word 
conveys. Such a divinity could not properly be called an 
hypostasis or s.iid to be in hypesiasi (except indeed as brute 
matter may be called, as in one sense it can be called, an 
hypostasis), and therefore it was, that that word had some 
fitness, especially after the Apostle's adaption of it, Hel/r. i. 3 
to denote the Christian's God. And this may account for 
the remark of Socrates, that it was a new word, strange to 
the schools ofancient philosophy, which bad seldom professed 
pureiheism or natural theology. "The teachers of philosophy 
among the Greeks," he says, "have defined usia in many 
ways : but of hypostasis, they have made no mention at all. 
IrenKUS, the grammarian, affirms that the word is barbarous." 
—Hist. iii. 7. The better then was it fitted to express that 

Eibject of thought, of which the " barbarians " of 
had been the special witnesses. When the divine 

440 Appendix. 

hypostasis was confessed, the word expressed or suggested thrd 
attributes of individuality, self-subsistence, self-action, an»- 
personality, such as go to form the idea of the Divine Beir-^ 
to the natural theologian ; and, since the difference beti^'^ 
the theist and the Catholic divine in their idea of His natu 
is simply this, that, in opposition to the Pantheist, wl 
cannot understand how the Infinite can be Personal at 2k^l, 
the one ascribes to him one personality, and the other thre<?, 
it will be easily seen how a word, thus characterized and 
circumstanced, would admit of being used with but a slight 
modification of its sense, of the Trinity as well as of the 

Let us take, by way of illustration, the word monad, which 
when applied to intellectual beings, includes the idea o{ 
personality. Dionysius of Alexandria, for instance, speaks of 
the monad and the triad: now, would it be very harsh, if, as 
he has spoken of " three hypostases " in monad so he had 
instead spoken of " the three monads," that is, in the sense of 
" thrice hypostatic mofiad^^ as if the intrinsic force of the 
word monas would preclude the possibility of his use of 
the plural monads being mistaken to imply that he hcM 
more monads than one? To take an analogous case, it 
would be about the same improper use of plural for singular, 
if we said that a martyr by his one act gained three \nctoric5 
instead of a triple victor}', over his three spiritual focN 
And indeed, though Athanasius does not directly speak ot 
three monads, yet he implies the possibility of such phraseolo^T 
by teaching that, though the Father and the Son are two, 
the monas of the Deity (O^o-nyi) is indivisible, and that the 
Deity is at once Father and Son. 

This, then, is what I conceive that he means by sometimes 
.speaking of one, somtimes of three hypostases. The word ^vA'- 
stasis stands neither for Person nor for Essence exclusi\ cly ; 
but it means the one Personal God of natural theoIo-,T, the 
notion of whom the Catholic corrects and completes as often 

^H Appendix. 44 1 

es lie views hiin as a Trinity; of which correction Nazianzen's 
language (Oral, xxviii. g) conlrasted with his usual formula 
^vitl. Orat. xx. 6) of the Three Hypostases, is au illustration. 
The specification of three hypostases does not substantially 
alter the sense of the word itself, but is a sort of catackresis 
"by which this Catholic doctrine is forcibly brought out) as it 
■would be by the phrase " three monads"), viz. that each of 
the Divine Pereons is simply the Unus et Singutaris Deus. 
If it be objected, that by the same mode of reasoning, Atha- 
nasius might have said catachrcstkally not only three monads 
or three hypostases, but three Gods, I deny it, and for this 
reason, because hypostasis is not equivalent to the simple 
idea of God, but is rather a definition of Him, and that in 
some special elementary points, as essence, ijersonality, &c., 
and because such a mere improper use or varying application 
of the term Ai^w/rtjw would not tend to compromise a truth, 
which never must even in forms of speech be trifled with, the 
absolute numerical unity of the Supreme Being. Though a 
Catholic could not say that there are three Gods, he could 
say, that the definition of God applies to uims and tres. 
Perliaps it is for this reason that Epiphanius speaks of the 
" hypostatic Three," " co-hy postal ic" "of the same hypostasis," 
Hair. 74, 4 (vid. Jerome, Ep. 15, 3), in the spirit in which 
St. Thomasj I think, inteijjrets the " non tres letemi, sed 
unus cetemus," to turn on the coulrast of at'jective and sub- 

Petavius makes a remark which is apposite to my present 
purpose. "Nomen Dei," he says, de Triti. iii. 9. § 10, " cbm 
sit exeorum genere quie concieta dicuntur, fonnam signilical, 
lion abstractam ab individuis proprietatibus, sed in iis sub- 
sistentem. Est enim Deus substantia aliqua divinitatem 
habens. Sicut homo non humanam naturam separatam, sed 
in aliquo individuo subsistentem exponit, ila tamen ut 
individuum ac personam, non certam ac determinatam, sed 
confuse infiuiteque icpresentet, hoc est, iialiiram in aliquo, ut 

442 Appendix. 

diximus, consistentem ... sic nomen Dei propria ac directe 
divinitatem naturamque divinam indicat, assignificat autem 
eundefn, ut in qucLpiam personcL subsisteniem, nullam de tribus 
expresse designans, sed confuse et universe^ Here this great 
author seems to say, that even the word " Deus " may stand, 
not barely for the Divine Being, but besides " in quipiam 
person^ subsistentem," without denoting which Person ; and 
in like manner I would understand hypostasis to mean the 
nionas with a like indeterminate notion of personality, 
(without which attribute the idea of God cannot be,) and 
thus, according as one hypostasis is spoken of, or three, the 
word may be roughly translated, in the one case " personal 
substance," or " being with personality," in the other " sub- 
stantial person," or " person which is in being." In all cases 
it will be equivalent to the Deity, to the monody to the divine 
usia^ &c., though with that peculiarity of meaning which I 
have insisted on. 

5. Since, as has been said above, hypostasis is a word more 
peculiarly Christian than usia^ I have judged it best to speak 
of it first, that the meaning of it, as it has now been ascertained 
on inquiry, may serve as a key for explaining other parallel 
terms. Usia is one of these the most in use, certainly in the 
works of Athanasius ; and we have his authority as well as 
St. Jerome's for stating that it was once simply synonymous 
with hypostasis. Moreover, in Orat, iii. 65, he uses the two 
words as equivalent to each other. If this be so, what has 
been said above in explanation of the sense he put on the 
word hypostasis, will apply to usia also. This conclusion is 
corroborated by the proper meaning of the word usia itself 
which answers to the English word " being." Now, when 
we speak of the Divine Being, we mean to speak of Him, as 
what he is, 6 &i/, including generally His attributes and 
characteristics, and among them, at least obscurely. His 
personaHty. By the ^^ Divine Being ^^ we do not commonly 
mean a mere anima mundiy or first principle of life or system 

of laivs. Usia then, thus considered, agrees very nearly in 
sense, from its very etymology, with hypostasis. Further, 
this was the sense in which ,\ristotle used it, viz. for what is 
*' individuum," and " nuniero unura ;" and it must not be 
forgotten that the Neo-platonists, who exerted so great an 
influence on the Alexandrian Church, professed tlieAristotelic 
logic. And so St. Cyril himself, the successor of Athanasius 
(Suicer, Tkes. in voce,oWia-) 

This is the word, and not hypostasis^ which Athanasius 
commonly uses in controversy with the Arians, to express 
the divinity of the Word. He speaks of the usia of the Son 
as being united to the Father, and His usia being the offspring 
of the Father's usia. In these and other passages usia, I 
conceive, is substantially equivalent to hypostasis, as I have 
explained it, viz. expressing the divine /tovis with an obscure 
intimation of personality inclusively ; and here I think I am 
able to quote the words of Father Passaglia, as agreeing (so 
far) in what I have said. " Quum hypostasis" he says, tie 
Trinitate,'^. 1302, "esse nequeat sine substantia, nihil vetabat 
quominus trium hypostasum defensores hypostasim interdum 
pro substantia sumerent, prcesertim ubi hypostasis opponilur 
rei non subsistentt ac efficientise." I should wish to complete 
the admission by adding, " Since an intellectual usia naturally 
implies an hypostasis, there was nothing to hinder usia being 
used, when hypostasis had Co be expressed." 

6. After what I have said of usia and hypostasis, it will not 
surprise the reader if I consider that i^vavt (nature) also, in 
the Alexandrian theology, was equally capable of being ap- 
plied to the Divine B^ing viewed as One, or viewed as Three 
or each of the Three separately. Thus Athanasius says. One 
is the Divine Nature, (milr. Apoll. ii. izfi»- tit Incarn. V, 
fin.) Alexander, on the other hand, calls the Father and Son 
the " two hypostatic natures," and speaks of the " only 
begotten nature," (Theod. Hist. i. 4,) and Clement of " the 
Son's nature " as " most intimately near the sole Almighty," 

444 Appendix. 

(Strom, vii. 2,) and Cyril of a "generating nature ** and a 
" generated " (Thes. xi. p. 85) and, in words celebrated in 
theological history, of " the Word's One Nature incarnate." 

7. EtSos is a word of a similar character. As it is found in 
J^olm V. 37, it may be indifferently interpreted of essence or 
of person ; the Vulgate translates it " neque specicm ejus 
vidistis." In Athan. Orat, iii. 3, it is synonymous with dcitj 
or tisia; as ibid. 6 also; and apparently in ibid, 16, where 
the Son is said to have the species of the Father. And so in 
de Syn, 52. Athanasius says that there is only one "species 
deitatis." Yet, as taken from Gen, xxxii. 31, it is considered 
to denote the Son ; e.^, Athan. Or at, i. 20, where it is used 
as synonymous with Image, cikwi/. In like manner the Son 
is called " the very species deitatis." Ep. ^Eg, 17. But 
again in Athan. Orat, iii. 6, it is first said that the species of 
tlie Father and Son are one and the same, then that the Son 
is the species of the Father's (deity), and then that the Son is 
the species of the Father. 

The outcome of this investigation is this : — that we need 
not by an officious piety arbitrarily force the language of 
separate Fathers into a sense which it cannot bear ; nor by 
an unjust and naiTOw criticism accuse them of error; nor 
impose upon an early age a distinction of terms belonging to 
a later. The words usia and hypostasis were, naturally and 
intelligibly, for three or four centuries, practically syno- 
nymous, and were used indiscriminately for two ideas, which 
were afterwards respectively denoted by the one and the 











Vide supra, 

P- 358.) 

The episcopate, whose action was so prompt and concordant 
at Nicasa on the rise of Arianism, did not, as a class or order 
of men, play a good part in the troubles consequent upon the 
Council ; and the Laity did, The Catholic people, in the 
length and breadth of Christendom, were the obstinate cham- 
pions of Calliolic truth, and the bishops were not. Of course 
there were great and illustrious exceptions ; first, Atlianasius, 
Hilary, the I^tin Eusebius, and Phrebadius ; and after theni, 
Basil, the tivo Gregories, and Ambrose ; there are others, too, 
who suffered, if they did notliing else, as Eustathius, Paulus, 
Paulinus, and Dionysius; and the Egj'plian bishops, whose 
weight was small in the Church in proportion to the great 
power of their Patriarch. And, on tlie other hand, as 1 shall 
say presently, there were exceptions to the Christian heroism 
of the laity, especially in some of the great towns. And 
again, in speaking of the laity, I speak inclusively of their 
porish-prie.=ts (so to call them), at least in many places ; but 
on the whole, taking a wide view of the hislory, we arc 
obliged to say that the governing body of the Church came 
short, and the governed were pre-eminent in faith, zeal, 
courage, and constancy. 

This is a very remarkable fact : but there is a moral in it. 
Perhaps it was permitted, in order to impress upon the Church 
t Jhat very time passing out of her state of persecution to 

^^Jhat ver 

' From llie RamJIw, July, 18^9. 

446 Appendix. 

her long temporal ascendancy, the great evangelical lesson, 
that, not the wise and powerful, but the obscure, the un- 
learned, and the weak constitute her real strength. It was 
mainly by the faithful people that Paganism was overthrown; 
it was by the faithful people, under the lead of Athanasius 
and the Egyptian bishops, and in some places supported by 
their Bishops or priests, that the worst of heresies was with- 
stood and stamped out of the sacred territory. 
The contrast stands as follows : — 


1. A.D. 325. The great Council of Nicsea of 318 Bishops, 
chiefly from the eastern provinces of Christendom, under the 
presidency of Hosius of Cordova. It was convoked against 
Arianism, which it once for all anathematized; and it inserted 
the formula of the "Consubstantial" into the Creed, with the 
view of establishing the fundamental dogma which Arianism 
impugned. It is the first CEcumenical Council, and recog- 
nized at the time its own authority as the voice of the 
infallible Church. It is so received by the orbis terrarum at 
this day. 

2. A.D. 326. St. Athanasius, the great champion of the 
Homoiision, was elected Bishop of Alexandria. 

3. A.D. 334, 335. The Synods of Csesareaand Tyre (sixty 
Bishops) against Athanasius, who was therein accused and 
formally condemned of rebellion, sedition, and ecclesiastical 
tyranny ; of murder, sacrilege, and magic ; deposed from his 
See, forbidden to set foot in Alexandria for life, and banished 
to Gaul. Also, they received Arius into communion. 

4. A.D. 341. Council of Rome of fifty Bishops, attended 
by the exiles from Thrace, Syria, &c., by Athanasius, &c., in 
which Athanasius was pronounced innocent. 

5. A.D. 341. Great Council of the Dedication at Antioch, 
attended by ninety or a hundred Bishops. The council 
ratified the proceedings of the Councils of Caesarea and Tyre, 

Appendix. 447 

pTaced an Aiian in the See of Athanasius. Then it pro- 
ceeded to pass a dogmatic decree in reversal of the fonnula 
of the " Con substantial." Four or five creeds, instead of 
the Nicene, were successively adopted by the assembled 

Three of these were circulated in the neighbourhood ; but 
as they wished to send one to Rome, they directed a fourth 
to be drawn up. This, too, apparently failed. 

6. A.D. 345. Council of the creed called Macrostic\ 
This Creed suppressed, as did the third, the word " sub- 
stance." 'i'he eastern Bishops sent this to the Bishops of 
France, who rejected it. 

7. A.D. 347. The great Council of Sardica, attended by 
more than 300 Bishops. Before it commenced, a division 
between its members broke out on the question whether or 
not Athanasius should liave a seat in it. In consequence, 
seventy-six retired to Philippopolis, on the Thracian side of 
Mount Hfemus, and there excommunicated the Pope and the 
Sardican Fathers. These seceders published a sixth con- 
fession of faith. The Synod of Sardica, including Bishops 
from Italy, Gaul, Africa, Egypt, Cyprus, and Palestine, con- 
firmed the act of the Roman Council, and restored Athana- 
sius and the other exiles to their Sees. The Synod of 
Philippopolis, on the contrary, sent letters to the civil 
magistrates of those cities, forbidding them to admit the 
exiles into them. The Imperial power took part with the 
Sardican Fathers, and Athanasius went back to Alexandria. 

8. A.D. 35t. The Bishops of the East met at Simiium. 
The semi-Arian Bishops began to detach themselves from 
the Arians, and to form a separate party. Under pretence 
of putting donTi a kind of Sabeliianism, they drew up a 
new creed, into which they introduced the language of some 
of the ante-Nicene writers on the subject of our Lord's divi- 
nity, and dropped the word "substance." 

g, A.D. 353, The Council of Aries. The Pope sent to it 

44S Appendix. 

several Bishops as legates. The Fathers of the Coun 
including the Pope's legate, Vincent, subscribed the co 
demnation of Athanasius. Paulinus, Bishop of Treves, ws- 
nearly the only one who stood up for the Nicene faith 
for Athanasius. He was accordingly banished into Phrygi 
where he died. 

10. A.D. 355. The Council of Milan, of more than 3 
Bishops of the West. Nearly all of them subscribed th^ 
condemnation of Athanasius ; whether they generally sul> 
scribed the heretical creed, which was brought forward, does 
not appear. The Pope's four legates remained firm, and St. 
Dionysius of Milan, who died an exile in Asia Minor. An 
Arian was put into his See. Saturninus, the Bishop of Aries, 
proceeded to hold a Council at Beziers ; and its Fathers 
banished St. Hilary to Phrygia. 

1 1. A.D. 357-9. The Arians and Semi-Arians successively 
drew up fresh creeds at Sirmium. 

12. A. D. 357-8. Hosius' fall. " Constantius used such 
violence towards the old man, and confined him so straitly, 
that at last, broken by suffering, he was brought, though 
hardly, to hold communion with Valens and Ursacius [the 
Arian leaders], though he would not subscribe against 
Athanasius." Athan. Arian. Hist. 45. 

13. A.D. 357-8. And Liberius. "The tragedy was not 
ended in the lapse of Hosius, but in the evil which befell 
Liberius, the Roman Pontiff, it became far more dreadful 
and mournful, considering that he was Bishop of so great a 
city, and of the whole Catholic Church, and that he had so 
bravely resisted Constantius two years previously. There is 
nothing, whether in the historians and holy fathers, or in his 
own letters, to prevent our coming to the conclusion, that 
Liberius communicated with the Arians, and confirmed the 
sentence passed by them against Athanasius ; but he is not 
at all on that account to be called a heretic." Baron. Ann. 
357, 38-45. Athanasius says : " Liberius, after he had been 

Appendix. 449 

in banishment for two years, gave way, and from fear of 
threalened death was induced to subscribe. Arian. Hist. 
^ 41. Sl Jerome says : " Liberius, t^io victus exilii, et in 
Tuereticam pravitatem subscribens, Romam quasi victor in- 
JtraveraL" Chron. ed. VaL p. 797. 

14. A.D. 359. The great Councils of Seleucia and Arimi- 
num, being one bipartite Council, representing the East and 
West respectively. At Seleucia there were 150 Bishops, of 
which only the twelve or thirteen from Egypt were cham- 
pions of the Nicene '* Consubstantial." At Ariminuni there 
were as many as 400 Bishops, who, worn out by the artifice 
of long delay on the part of the Arians, abandoned the 
" Consubstantial," and subscribed the ambiguous formula 
which the heretics had substituted for it. 

15. About A.D. 360, St. Hilary says: "I am not speaking 
of things foreign to my knowledge ; I am not writing about 
what I am ignorant of; I have heard and I have seen the 
shortcomings of persons who are round about me, not of 
laymen, but of Bishops. For, excepting the Bishop Eleusius 
and a few with him, for the most part the ten Asian pro- 
vinces, within whose boundaries I am situate, are truly 
ignorant of God." De Syn. 63. It is observable, that even 
Eleusius, who is here spoken of as somewliat better than the 
Test, was a Scmi-Arian, according to Socrates, and even a 
persecutor of Catholics at Constantinople ; and, according 
to Sozoraen, one of those who were active in causing Pope 
Liberius to give up the Nicene formula of the " Consubstan- 
tial." By the ten Asian provinces is meant the east and 
south provinces of Asia Minor, pretty nearly as cut off by a 
line passing from Cyzicus to Seleucia through Synnada, 

i5, A.D. 360. St. Gregory Nazianzen says, about this 
date ; " Surely the pastors have done foolislily ; for, excepting 
a very few, who either on account of their inslgnilicance 
were passed over, or who by reason of their virtue resisted, 
and who were to be left as a seed and root tor the springing 
G Q 


450 Appendix. 

up again and revival of Israel by the influences of the Spiri— ^^ 
all temporized, only differing from each other in this, th^^ 
some succumbed earlier, and others later ; some were fore 
most champions and leaders in the impiety, and othei 
joined the second rank of the battle, being overcome by feaj 
or by interest, or by flattery, or, what was the most excusable^^ 
by their own ignorance." Orat. xxi. 24. 

17. A.D. 361. About this time, St. Jerome says : " Nearl^^ 
all the churches in the whole world, under the pretence ^ 
peace and of the e.nperor, are polluted with the communion, 
of the Arians." Chro7i, Of the same date, that is, upon 
the Council of Ariminum, are his famous words, " Ingemuit 
totus orbis et se esse Arianum miratus est." /// Lucif. 19. 

*' The Catholics of Christendom were strangely surprised to 
find that the Council had made Arians of them." 

18. A.D. 362. State of the Church of Antioch at this 
time. There were four Bishops or communions of Antioch ; 
first, the old succession and communion, which had possession 
before the Arian troubles ; secondly, the Arian succession, 
which had lately conformed to orthodoxy in the person of 
Meletius ; thirdly, the new Latin succession, lately created 
by Lucifer, whom some have thought the Pope's legate there ; 
and, fourthly, the new Arian succession, which was started 
upon the recantation of Meletius. At length, as Arianism 
was brought under, the evil reduced itself to two Episcopal 
Successions, that of Meletius and the Latin, which went on 
for many years, the West and Egypt holding communion 
with the latter, and the East with the former. 

19. St. Hilary speaks of the series of ecclesiastical Councils 
of that time in the following well-known passage : " Since the 
Nicene Council, we have done nothing but write the Creed. 
While we fight about words; inquire about novelties, take 
advantage of ambiguities, criticize authors, fight on party 
questions, have difliculties in agreeing, and prepare to anathe- 
matize each other, there is scarce a man who belongs to 

Appendix. 451 

Christ. Take, for instance, last year's Creed, what alteration 
is there not in it already? First, we have the Creed, which 
tids lis not to use the Nicene ' consubstantial ; ' then comes 
another, which decrees and preaches it; next, the third, 
excuses the word ' substance,' as adopted by the Fathers in 
their simplicity ; lastly, the fourth, which instead of ex- 
cusing, condemns. We determine creeds by the year or by 
the month, we change our own determinations, we prohibit 
our changes, we anathematize our prohibitions. Thus, we 
either condemn others in our own persons, or ourselves in 
the instance of others, and while we bite and devour one 
another, are like to be consumed one of another," Ad 
Const, ii. 4, 5. 

20. A.D. 383. St. Gregory writes : "If I must speak the 
truth, I feel disposed to shun every conference of Bishops ; 
for never saw I Synod brought to a happy issue, and remedy- 
ing, and not rather aggravatmg, existing evils. For rivalry 
and ambition are stronger than reason, — do not think me 
extravagant for saying so, — and a mediator is more likely 
to incur some imputation himself than to clear up the impu- 
tations which others lie under." — Ep. 129. 

Coming to the opposite side of the contrast, I observe 
that there were great efforts made on the part of the Arians 
to render their heresy popular. Arius himself, according to 
the Arian Philostorgius, " wrote songs for the sea, and for 
the mill, and for the road, and then set them to suitable f 
music*." Hist. ii. 2. Alexander speaks of the "running about" 
of the Arian women, Theod. Hist. i. 4, and of the buffoonery 
of their raea Socrates says that " in the Imperial court, 
the officers of the bed-chamber held disputes with tlie 

* The Itanalations which follow are for (he most pan from Bohn's and 
the OKfbrd editions, the passages being abridged. 
GG 2 


452 Appendix. 

women, and in the city, in every house, there was a war ^ 
dialectics," ii. 2. Especially at Constantinople there we^^^' 
as Gregory says, " of Jezebels as thick a crop as of hemlo^^^ 
in a field," Orat 35, 3 ; and he himself suffered from th:::^^ 
popular violence there. At Alexandria the Arian wome^ ^ 
are described by Athanasius as "running up and down lik^^ ^ 
Bacchanals and furies," and as " passing that day in grief o^^^ 
which they could do no harm." Hist Arian, 59. 

The controversy was introduced in ridicule into the heat- 
then theatres, Euseb. v. Const ii. 6. Socr. i. 6. " Men of 
yesterday," says Gregory Nyssen, " mere mechanics, oflE^ 
hand dogmatists in theology, servants too and slaves that 
have been scourged, run-aways from servile work, and philo- 
sophical about things incomprehensible. Of such the city 
is full ; its entrances, forums, squares, thoroughfares ; the 
clothes-vendors, the money-lenders, the victuallers. Ask about 
pence, and they will discuss the generate and ingenerate," 
&c., &c., tom. ii. p. 898 Socrates, too, says that the heresy 
" ravaged provinces and cities ; and Theodoret that, " quar- 
rels took place in every city and village concerning the 
divine dogma, the people looking on, and taking sides." 
Hist i. 6. 

In spite of these attempts, however, on the part of the 
Arians, still, viewing Christendom as a whole, we shall find 
that the Catholic populations sided with Athanasius; and 
the fierce disputes above described evidenced the zeal of the 
orthodox rather than the strength of the heretical party. 
This will appear in the following extracts : — 

I. Alexandria. " We suppose," says Athanasius, " you 
are not ignorant what outrages they [the Arian Bishops] 
committed at Alexandria, for they are reported every where. 
They attacked the holy virgins and brethren with naked 
swords; they beat with scourges their persons, esteemed 
honourable in God's sight, so that their feet were lamed by 
the stripes, whose souls were whole and sound in purity and 
all good works." Athan Ap. c, Arian. 15. 



"Accordingly Constantius writes letters, and commences 
a persecution against all. Gathering together a multitude 
of herdsmen and shepherds, and dissolute youths belonging 
to the tosvn, armed with swords and clubs, they attacked 
in a body the Church of Quirinus : and some they slew, some 
they trampled under foot, others they beat with stripes and 
cast into prison or banished. They haled away many women 
also, and dragged them openly inlo the court, and insulted 
them, dragging thero by the hair. Some they proscribed; 
from some they took away their bread, for no other reason 
but tliat they might be induced to join the Arians, and re- 
ceive Gregory [the Arian Bishop], who had been sent by 
the Emperor." Athan. Hist. Arian. § lo, 

"On the week that succeeded the holy Pentecost, when 
Ihe people after their fast, had gone out to the cemetery to 
pray, because that all refused communion irith George [the 
Arian Bishop], the commander, Sebastian, straightway i\ith 
a multitude of soldiers proceeded to attack the people, though 
it was the Lord's day; and finding a few praying {for the 
greater part had already retired on account of the lateness 
of the hour), having lighted a pile, he placed certain virgins 
near the fire, and endeavoured to force them to say that they 
were of tlie Arian faith. And having seized on forty men, 
he cut some fresh twigs of the palm-tree, with the thorns 
upon them, and scourged them on the back so severely that 
some of them were for a long time under medical treatment, 
on account of tlie thorns which had entered their flesh, and 
others, unable to hear up under their sufferings, died. AH 
those whom they had taken, both the men and the virgins, 
they sent away into bani.shment to the great Oasis. More- 
over, they immediately banished out of Egypt and Libya 
the following Bishops [sisteen], and the presbjiers, Hierax 
and Dioscorus ; some of them died on the way, others in the 
place of their banishment. They caused also more than 
thirty Bishops lo take to flight" Apol de Fug. 7. 

454 Appendix. 

2. Egypt. " The Emperor Valens having issued an ec3ict 
commanding that the orthodox should be expelled both fv^^^ 
Alexandria and the rest of Egypt, depopulation and ruir»- to 
an immense extent immediately followed ; some were drag^^^^^ 
before the tribunals, others cast into prison, and many t ^r- 
tured in various ways ; all sorts of punishment being inflict: ^^ 
upon persons who aimed only at peace and quiet" Sc^ ^^• 
H/sf, iv. 24. 

3. The Monks (i.) 0/ Egypt, " Antony left th^ 
solitude of the desert to go about every part of the city 
[Alexandria], warning the inhabitants that the Ariaiis 
were opposing the truth, and that the doctrines of the 
Apostles were preached only by Athanasius." Theod. Hist 
iv. 27. 

" Lucius, the Arian, with a considerable body of troops, 
proceeded to the monasteries of Egypt, where he in 
person assailed the assemblage of holy men with greater 
fury than the ruthless soldiery. When these excellent per- 
sons remained unmoved by all the violence, in despair he 
advised the military chief to send the fathers of the monks, 
the Egyptian Macarius and his namesake of Alexandria, into 
exile." Socr. iv. 24. 

(2.) Of Constantinople, " Isaac, on seeing the emperor 
depart at the head of his army, exclaimed, * You who have 
declared war against God cannot gain His aid. Cease from 
fighting against Him, and He will terminate the war. 
Restore the pastors to their flocks, and then you will obtain 
a bloodless victory.' " Theod. iv. 

(3-) ^f Syria, &c. "That these heretical doctrines 
[Apollinarian and Eunomian] did not finally become pre- 
dominant is mainly to be attributed to the zeal of the monks 
of this period ; for all the monks of Syria, Cappadocia, and 
the neighbouring provinces were sincerely attached to the 
Nicene faith. The same fate awaited them which had been 
experienced by the Arians ; for they incurred the full weight 

Appendix. 455 

of the popular odium and aversion, when it was observed 
that their sentiments were regarded with suspicion by the 
monks." Sozom. vi. 27. 

(4.) Of Cappadocia. "Gregory, the father of Gregory 
Theologus, otherwise a most excellent man, and a zealous 
defender of the true and Catholic religion, not being on his 
guard against the artifices of the Arians, such was his sim- 
plicity, received with kindness certain men who were con- 
taminated with the poison, and subscribed an impious 
proposition of theirs. This moved the monks to such indig- 
nation, that they withdrew forthwith from his communion, 
and took with them, after their example, a considerable part 
of his flock." Ed. Bened. Monit. in Greg. Naz. Orat. 6. 

4 Antioch. " Whereas he (the Bishop Leontius) took 
part in the blasphemy of Arius, he made a point of con- 
cealing this disease, partly for fear of the multitude, partly 
for the menaces of Constantius ; so those who followed the 
Apostolical dogmas gained from him neither patronage nor 
ordination, but those who held Arianism were allowed the 
fullest liberty of speech, and were placed in the ranks of 
the sacred ministry. But Flavian and Diodorus, who had 
embraced the ascetical life, and maintained the Apostolical 
dogmas, openly withstood Leontius's machinations against 
religious doctrine. They threatened that they would retire 
from the communion of his Church, and would go to the West, 
and reveal his intrigues. Though they were not as yet in 
the sacred ministry, but were in the ranks of the laity, night 
and day they used to excite all the people to zeal for religion. 
They were the first to divide the singers into two choirs, and 
to teach them to sing in alternate parts the strains of David. 
' They too, assembling the devout at the shrines of the mar- 
tyrs, passed the whole night there in hymns to God. These 
things Leontius seeing, did not think it safe to hinder them, 
for he saw that the multitude was especially well affected 
towards those excellent persons. Nothing, however, could 

456 Appendix. 

persuade Leontlus to correct his wickedness. It follows^ 
that among the clergy were many who were infected with 
the heresy : but the mass of the people were champions (rf 
orthodoxy." Theodor. Hist, ii. 24. 

5. Edessa. " There is in that city a magnificent church, 
dedicated to St. Thomas the Apostle, wherein, on account of 
the sanctity of the place, religious assemblies are continually 
held. The Emperor Valens wished to inspect this edifice ; 
when, having learned that all who usually congregated there 
were enemies to the heresy which he favoured, he is said to 
have struck the prefect wdth his own hand, because he had 
neglected to expel them thence. The prefect, to prevent 
the slaughter of so great a number of persons, privately 
warned them against resorting thither. But his admonitions 
and menaces were alike unheeded; for on the following day 
they all crowded to the church. AVhen the prefect was 
going towards it with a large military force, a poor woman 
leading her own little child by the hand, hurried hastily by 
on her way to the church, breaking through the ranks of 
the soldiery. The prefect, irritated at this, ordered her to 
be brought to him, and thus addressed her : * Wrctt hod 
woman, whither are you running in so disorderly a manner?' 
She replied, ' To the same place that others are hastening.' 
* Have you not heard/ said he, * that the prefect is about to 
put to death all that shall be found there ? ' * Yes/ saM 
the woman, 'and therefore I hasten, that I may be AninJ 
there.' * And whither are you dragging tliat little child ? ' 
said the prefect. The woman ansv/ered, ' That he also ir.jy 
be vouchsafed the honour of martyTdom.' The prefect went 
back and infonned the Emperor that all were ready to die in 
behalf of their own faith ; and added that it would be pre- 
posterous to destroy so many persons at one time, and 
thus succeeded in restraining the Emperor's A^Tath." Socr. 
iv. 18. "Thus was the Christian faith confessed by the 
whole city of Edessa." Sozom. vL 18. 

^^^_ 457 

6. Samosata. " The Arians, having deprived t]iis esem- 
Jilary flock of their sliepherd, elected in his place an indi- 
"V-idual with whom none of the inhabitants of the city, 
■whether poor or rich, servants or mechanics, husbandmen 
«r)r gardeners, men or women, young or old, would hold com- 
xiinnion. He was left quite alone ; no one even calling to 
see him, or exchanging a word with him. It is, however, said 
that his disposition was extremely gende ; and this is proved 
Tiy what I am about to relate. One day, when he went to 
bathe in the public baths, tlie attendants closed the doors ; 
but he ordered the doors to be thrown open, that the people 
might be admitted to bathe with himself. Perceiving that 
they remained in a standing posture before him, imagining 
that great deference towards himself was the cause of this 
conduct, he arose and left the badi. These people believed 
that the water had been contaminated by his heresy, and 
ordered it to be let out, and fresh water to be supplied. 
When he heard of this circumstance, he lefl the city, tliinting 
that he ought no longer to remain in a place where he was 
the object of public aversion and hatred. Upon this re- 
tirement of Eunomius, Lucius was elected as his successor 
by the Arians. Some young persons were amusing them- 
selves with playing at ball in the market-place ; I.,ucius was 
passing by at the time, and the ball happened to fall beneath 
the feet of the ass on which he was mounted. The youths 
Uttered loud exclamations, believing that the ball was con- 
taminated. They lighted a fire, and hurled the ball through 
it, believing that by this process the ball would be purified. 
Although this was only a childih deed, and although it 
exhibits the remains of ancient superstition, yet it is suffi- 
cient to show the odium which the Arian faction had 
incurred in this city, Lucius was far from imitating the 
mildness of Eunomius, and he persuaded the heads of 
the government to exile most of the clergy." Theodor. iv. 15. 

7. OsRHOENE. " Arianism met with similar opposition at 

458 Appendix. 

the same period in Osrhoene and Cappadocia. Basil, Bishop 
of Csesarea, and Gregory, Bishop of Nazianzus, were held 
in high admiration and esteem throughout these regions.'* 
Sozom. vi. 21. 

8. Cappadocia. " Valens, in passing through Cappadocia, 
did all in his power to injure the orthodox, and to deliver up 
the churches to the Arians. He thought to accomplish his 
designs more easily on account of a dispute which was then 
pending between Basil and Eusebius, who governed the 
Church of Caesarea. This dissension had been the cause of 
Basil's departing to Pontus. The people, and some of the 
most powerful and wisest men of the city, began to regard 
Eusebius with suspicion, and to meditate a secession from 
his communion. The emperor and the Arian Bishops 
regarded the absence of Basil and the hatred of the people 
towards Eusebius, as circumstances that would tend greatly 
to the success of their designs. But their expectations were 
utterly frustrated. On the first intelligence of the intention 
of the emperor to pass through Cappadocia, Basil returned to 
Coesarea, where he effected a reconciliation with Eusebius. 
The projects of Valens were thus defeated, and he returned 
with his Bishops." Sozom. vi. 15. 

9. Pontus. " It is said that when Eulalius, Bishop of 
Amasia in Pontus, returned from exile, he found that his 
Church had passed into the hands of an Arian, and that 
scarcely fifty inhabitants of the city had submitted to the 
control of their new bishop." Sozom. vii. 2. 

10. Armenia. "That company of Arians, who came 
with Eustathius to Nicopolis, had promised that they would 
bring over this city to compliance with the commands of the 
Imperial vicar. This city had great ecclesiastical importance, 
both because it was the metropolis of Armenia, and because 
it had been ennobled by the blood of martyrs, and governed 
hitherto by Bishops of great reputation, and thus, as Basil 
calls it, was the nurse of religion and the metropolis of sound 



doctrine. Fronto, one of the city presbyters, who had 
hitherto shown himself as a champion of tlic truth, through 
ambition gave himself up to the enemies of Christ, and pur- 
chased the bishoprick of the Arians at the price of renouncing 
the Catholic fsiith. This wicked proceeding of Eustathius 
and the Arians brought a new glory instsr.d of evil to the 
Nicopolitans, since it gave them aji opportunity of defending 
the faith. Fronto, indeed, the Arians consecrated, but there 
was a remarkable unanimity of clergy and people in rejecting 
him. Scarcely one or two clerks sided with him ; on the 
contrary,hebecametheexecrationofall Ai-menia." Vita S. 
Basil., Sened. pp. clvii, dviii. 

II. NicoMEDtA. "Eighty pious clergy prorceded to 
Nicomedia, and there presented to the emperor a supplica- 
tory petition complaining of the ill-usage to which they had 
been subjected. Valens, dissembling his displeasure in their 
presence, gave Modestus, the prefect, a secret order to appre- 
hend these persons and to put them to death. The prefect, 
fearing he should excite the populace to a seditious move- 
ment against himself, if he attempted the public execution of 
so many, pretended to send them away into exile," &c. 
Socr. iv. 16. 

IS. C.M'PADOCiA. St. Basil says, about the year 37a : 
"Religious people keep silcnce,but every blaspheming tongue 
is let loose. Sacred things are profaned ; those of the laity 
who are sound in faith avoid the places of worship as schools 
of impiety, and raise their hands in solitudes, with groans 
and tears to the Lord in heaven." Ep. 92. Four years after 
he writes : " Matters have come to this pass ; the people 
have left their houses of prayer, and assemble in deserts, — 

-pitiable sight ; women and children, old men, and men 
ifirm, wretchedly faring in the open air, amid the 

tet profuse rains and snow-storms and winds and frosts of 

; and again in summer under a scorching sun. To 

I they submit, because they will have no part in the 

460 Appendix. 

wicked Arian leaven." Ep. 242. Again : ''Only one 
offence is now vigorously punished, — an accurate observance 
of our fathers' traditions. For this cause the pious are 
driven from their countries, and transported into deserts. 
The people are in lamentation, in continual tears at home 
and abroad. There is a cry in the city, a cry in the coun- 
try, in the roads, in the deserts. Joy and spiritual cheerful- 
ness are no more ; our feasts are turned into mourning ; our 
houses of prayer are shut up, our altars deprived of the spiri- 
tual worship." Ep. 243. 

13. Paphlagqnia, &c. '* I thought," says Julian in one 
of his Epistles, " that the leaders of the Galilseans would feel 
more grateful to me than to my predecessor. For in his 
time they were in great numbers turned out of their homes, 
and persecuted, and imprisoned ; moreover, multitudes of 
so-called heretics " [ the Novatians who were with the 
Catholics against the Arians] ** were slaughtered, so that 
in Samosata, Paphlagonia, Bithynia, and Galatia, and many 
other nations, villages were utterly sacked and destroyed " 
Ep. 52. 

14. ScYTHiA. " There are in this country a great number 
of cities, of towns, and of fortresses. According to an 
ancient custom which still prevails, all the churches of the 
whole country are under the sway of one Bishop. Valens 
[the emperor] repaired to the Church, and strove to gain over 
the Bishop to the heresy of Arius ; but this latter manfully 
opposed his arguments, and after a courageous defence of the 
Nicene doctrines, quitted the emperor, and proceeded to 
another church, whither he was followed by the people. 
Valens was extremely offended at being left alone in a church 
with his attendants, and in resentment condemned Vetranio 
[the Bishop] to banishment. Not long after, however, he re- 
called him, because, I believe, he apprehended insurrection." 
Sozom. vi. 21. 

15. Constantinople. "Those who acknowledged the 

Appendix, 46: 

doctrine of con substantiality were not only expelled from the 
churches, but also from the cities. But although expulsion 
at first satisfied them [the Arians], they soon proceeded to 
the worse extremity of inducing compulsory communion 
with thenij caring little for such a desecration of the churches. 
They resorted to all Irinds of scourgings, a variety of tortures, 
and confiscation of property. Many were punished with exile, 
some died under the torture, and others were put to death 
while being driven from their country. These atrocities were 
exercised throughout all the eastern cities, but especially at 
Constantinople." Socr. ii. 37. 

16. Illyria. " The parents of Theodosius were Christians 
and were attached to the Nicene doctrine, hence he took 
pleasure in the ministration of Ascholius [Bishop of Thessa- 
lonica]. He also rejoiced at finding that the Arian heresy 
had not been received in Illyria." Sozom, vii. 4. 

17. Neighbourhood of Macedonia. " Theodosius in- 
quired concerning the religious sentiments which were 
prevalent in the other provinces, and ascertained that, as 
far as Macedonia, one form of belief was universally pre- 
dominant," &C. Ibid. 

18. Rome. " With respect to the doctrine no dissension 
arose either at Rome or in any other of the Western Churches j 
the people unanimously adhered to the form of belief esta- 
blished at Nicrea." Sozom. vi. 23. 

" Liberius, returning to Rome, found the mind of ihe mass 
of men alienated from him, because he had so shamefully 
yielded to Constantius. And thus it came to pass, that those 
persons who had hitherto kept aloof from Feli-t [the rival 
Pope], and had avoided his communion in favour of Liberius, 
on hearing what had happened, left him for Felix, who raised 
the Catholic standard." Baron. Ann. 357, 56. He tells us 
besides (57), that the people would not even go to the 
public ballis, lest they should bathe with the parly of 

462 Appendix, 

19 Milan. At the Council of Milan, Eusebius of 
Vercellae, when it was proposed. to draw, up a declaration 
against Athanasius, " said that the Council ought first to be 
sure of the faith of the Bishops attending it, for he had found 
out that some of them were polluted with heresy. Accord- 
ingly he brought before the Fathers the Nicene Creed, and 
said he was willing to comply with all their demands, after 
they had subscribed that confession. Dionysius, Bishop of 
Milan, at once took up the paper and began to write his 
assent ; but Valens [the Arian] violently pulled pen and 
paper out of his hands, crying out that such a course of pro- 
ceeding was impossible. Whereupon, after much tumult, 
the question came before the people, and great was the 
distress of all of them ; the faith of the Church was attacked 
by the Bishops. They then, dreading the judgment of the 
people, transfer their meeting from the church to the Imperial 
palace." Hilar, ad Const, i. 8. 

Again : "As the feast of Easter approached, the empress sent 
to St. Ambrose to ask a church of him, where the Arians who 
attended her might meet together. He replied, that a Bishop 
could not give up the temple of God. The pretorian prefect 
came into the church, where St. Ambrose was attended by 
the people, and endeavoured to persuade him to yield up at 
least the Portian Basilica. The people were clamorou> 
against the proposal ; and the prefect retired to report how 
matters stood to the emperor. The Sunday following St. 
Ambrose was explaining the creed, when he was informs 
that the officers were hanging up the Imperial hangings ii 
the Portian Basilica, and that upon this news the pcop! 
were repairing thither. While he was offering up the hoi 
sacrifice, a second message came that the people had seizo 
an Arian priest as he was passing through the street 11 
despatched a number of his clergy to the spot to resciit 
the Arian from his danger. The court looked on this resi- 
tance of the people as seditious, and immediately laid co 

Appendix. 463 

sideraljle fines upon the whole body of the tradesmen of the 
city. Several were thro\vnmto prison. In three days' time 
these tradesmen were fined two hundred pounds weight of 
gold, and they said that they were ready to give as much 
again on condition that they might retain their faith. The 
prisons were filled with tradesmen ; all the ofRccrs of the 
household, secretaries, agents of the emperor, and dependent 
otficcTs who served under various counts, were kept within 
doots, and were forbidden to appear in public, under 
pretence that they should bear no part in sedition. Men of 
higher rank were menaced with severe consequences, unless 
the Basilica were surrendered. . . . 

" Next morning the Basilica was sunounded by soldiers ; 
but it was reported, that these soldieira had sent to the 
Eniperor to tell him, that if he wished to come abroad he 
might, and that they would attend him, if he was going to 
the assembly of the Catholics : otlierwise, that they would 
go to that ivliich would be held by St. Ambrose, indeed, 
the soldiers were all Catholics, as well as the citizens of 
Milan : there were so few heretics there, except a few officers 
of the emperor and ."iome Goths. . . , 

" St. was continuing his discourse, when he was 
to5d that the Emperor had withdrawn the soldiers from the 
Basilica, and that he had restored to the tradesmen the fines 
whicli he had exacted from them. This news gave joy to the 
people, who expressed their delight with applauses and 
thanksgivings ; the soldiers themselves were eager to bring 
the news, throwing themselves on the altars, and kissing 
them in token of peace " Fleuiy's Hist, xviil 41, 42, Oxf. 

ao. Christendom generally. St. Hilary to-Con stantius ; 
" Not only in words, but in tears, we beseech you to save 
the CaUiolic Churches from any longer continuance of these 
most grievous injuries, and of their present intolerable 
persecutions and insults, which moreover they are enduring, 

464 Appendix. 

monstrous as it is, from our brethren. Surely your clemenqf 
should listen to the voice of those who cry out so loudly, ' I 
am a Catholic, I have no wish to be a heretic' It should 
seem equitable to your sanctity, most glorious Augustus, 
that they who fear the Lord God and His judgment should 
not be polluted and contaminated with execrable blasphemies, 
but skould have liberty to follow those Bishops and prelates 
who both observe inviolate the laws of charity, and who 
desire a perpetual and sincere peace. It is impossible, it 
is unreasonable, to mix true and false, to confuse light and 
darkness, and bring into union, of whatever kind, night and 
day. Give permission to the populations to hear the teach- 
ing of the pastors whom they have wished, whom they fixed 
on, whom they have chosen, to attend their celebration of 
the divine mysteries, to offer prayers through them for your 
safety and prosperity." ad Const i. i, 2. 

In drawing out this comparison between the conduct of the 
Catholic Bishops and that of their flocks during the Arian 
troubles, I must not be understood as intending any conclusion 
inconsistent with the infallibility of the Ecclesia docens, (that 
is, the Church when teaching) and with the claim of the Pope 
and the Bishops to constitute the Church in that aspect I 
am led to give this caution, because, for the want of it, I was 
seriously misunderstood in some quarters on my first Avriting 
on the above subject in the ^^/^^/^r Magazine of May, 1859. 
But on that occasion I was writing simply historically, not 
doctrinally, and, while it is historically true, it is in no sense 
doctrinally false, that a Pope, as a private doctor, and much 
more Bishops, when not teaching formally, may err, as we 
find they did err in the fourth century. Pope Liberius 
might sign a Eusebian formula at Sirmium, and the mass of 
Bishops at Ariminum or elsewhere, and yet they might, in 
spite of this error, be infallible in their ex cathedra decisions. 



The reason of my being misunderstood arose from two or 
three clauses or expressions which occurred in the course of 
my remarks, which I should not have used had I anticipated 
how they would be taken, and which I avail myself of tliis 
opportunity to explain and withdraw. First, I will quote 
the passage which bore a meaning which I certainly did not 
intend, and then I will note the phrases which seem to have 
given this meaning to it It will be seen how little, when 
those phrases are withdrawn, the sense of the passage, as I 
intended it, is affected by tlie withdrawal. I said then : — 

" It is not a little remarkable, that, though, historically 
speaking, the fourth century is the age of doctors, illus- 
trated, as it is, by the Saints Athanasius, Hilary, the two 
Gregories, Basil, Chrysostom, Ambrose, Jerome, and Augus- 
tine, (and all those saints bishops also), except one, neverthe- 
less in that very day the Divine tradition committed to the 
infallible Church was proclaimed and maintained far more 
by the faithful than by the Episcopate. 

" Here of course I must explain : — in saying this then, un- 
doubtedly I am not denying that the great body of the 
Bishops were in their intenul behef orthodox; nor that 
there were numbers of clergy who stood by the laity and 
acted as their centres and guides ; nor that the laity actually 
received their faith, in the first instance, from the Bishops 
and clergy j nor that some portions of the laity were ignorant, 
and other portions were at length corrupted by the Arian 
teachers, who got possession of the sees, and ordained an 
heretical clergy : — but I mean still, that in that time of 
immense confusion the divine dogma of our Lord's divinity 
was proclaimed, enforced, maintained, and (humanly speak- 
ing) preserved, far more by the " Ecclesia docta" than by the 
"Ecclesia docens;" that the body of the Epis:opatewas un- 
faithful to its commission, while the body of the laity was 
faithful to its baptism ; that at one time the pope, at other 
times a patriarchal, metropolitan, or other great see, at 

466 Appendix. 

other times general councils, said what they should not have 
said, or did what obscured and compromised revealed truth; 
while, on the other hand, it was the Christian people, who, 
under Providence, were the ecclesiastical strength of Atha- 
nasius, Hilary, Eusebius of Vercellse, and other great solitary 
confessors, who would have failed without them. . . . 

" On the one hand, then, I say, that there was a temporary 
suspense of the functions of the * Ecclesia docens/ The 
body of Bishops failed in their confession of the faith. They 
spoke variously, one against another; there was nothing, 
after Nicaea, of firm, unvarying, consistent testimony, lor 
nearly sixty years. . . . 

" We come secondly to the proofs of the fidelity of the 
laity, and the effectiveness of that fidelity, during that domi- 
nation of Imperial heresy, to which the foregoing passages 
have related." 

The three clauses which furnished matter of objection 
were these : — I said, (i), that "there was a temporary sus- 
pense of the fimctions of the ' Ecclesia docens ; ' " (2), that 
" the body of Bishops failed in their confession of the faith." 
(3), that "general councils, &c., said what they should not have 
said, or did what obscured and compromised revealed 

(i). That " there was a temporary suspense oi the functions 
of the Ecclesia docens " is not true, if by saying so is meant 
that the Council of Nicaea held in 325 did not sufficiently de- 
fine and promulgate for all times and all places the dogma of 
our Lord's divinity, and that the notoriety of that Council and 
the voices of its great supporters and maintainers, as Atha- 
riasius, Hilary, &c., did not bring home the dogma to the 
intelligence of the faithful in all parts of Christendom. But 
what I meant by " suspense " ( I did not say " suspen- 
sion," purposely, ) was only this, that there was no authori- 
tative utterance of the Church's infallible voice in matter of 
fact between the Nicene Council, a.d. 325, and the Council 



tof Constantinople, a.d. 381, or, in the words which I actually 
used, " there was nothing after Nicsea of firm, unvarying, 
consistent testimony for nearly sixty years." As writing 
before the Vatican Definition of 1870, I did not lay stress 
upon the Roman Councils under Popes Julius and Damasus.* 
(z). That " the btxiy of Bishops failed in their confession 
of the faith," p. 17. Here, if the word "body" is used in 
the sense of the Latin " corpus," as " corpus " is used in 
theological treatises, and as it doubtless would be trans- 
lated for the benefit of readers ignorant of the English 
language, certainly this would be a heretical statement. But 
I meant nothing of the kind. I used it in the vague, familiar, 
genuine sense of which Johnson gives instances in his diction- 
ary, as meaning " the great preponderance," or, " the mass" 
of Bishops, vieiving them in the main or the gross, as a 
amiiilus of individuals. Thus Hooker says, " Life and death 
have divided between them the whole body of mankind;" 
'Clarendon, after speaking of the van of the king's army, says, 
' in ihe body was the king and the prince : " and .\ddison 

• A dislinguished theologian inrers from my words that I deny lha.[ 
" the Church is in every time the adivutn inslrumenlum docendi." But 
. I do not admit the Hairnessof thjsinference. Djstinguo: aOivatn instru- 
tnentum docendi virlualc, C. Actuaic, N. The Ecumenical Councit of 31s 
«as an cReclivc authority m .141, 351, aad 359, though at those dates, 
ihe Aiians were in Ilic seats of teaching. Fi. Petrone agrees wrth me. 
I. He reckons ihe " fidclium sensus'' among the " in st rumen ta tiB- 
ditionis.'' {Immnc. Cancipl. p. i^g.) 1. He conlemplatea, nay he 
inslances, the case in which the "sensus tidelium" supplies, as (he 
*■ inslturaentum," Ihe absence of the other insi rumen is, the magisltriiim 
^:hc Church, as exercised acNioEa, beiug always supposed. One of his 
instances is that of the dogma de visione Dei beatificA. He says ) 
*' Ccite quidem in Ecclesii non decrac quoad hunc fidei aiticulum divina 
(radilio; alioquln, nunquam is deliniri potuisscti vetum non omnitias 
ilia erat cnmpeita : divina eloquia hand satis in re sunt cunspicuai 
Tatres, ut vidimus, in varias abierunt senlentiaa; lilnigiEC jpste oon 
[ difScullaicm. His omnibus suecuiiit jugE 
communis pixtcrca fidclium sensus.'' p. 148. 
H U I 

Eccleaiee magi si 

468 Appendix. 

speaks of " navigable rivers, which ran up into the body of 
Italy." In this sense it is true historically that the body of 
Bishops failed in their confesson. Tillemont, quoting from 
St Gregory Nazianzen, says, " La souscription (Arienne) etait 
une des dispositions necessaires pour entrer et pour se con- 
server dans Tepiscopat. L'encre dtait toujours toute prete, et 
Taccusateur aussi. Ceux qui avaient paru invincibles jusques 
alors, c^derent k cette temp^te. Si leur esprit ne tomba 
pas dans Theresie, leur main n^anmoins y consentit. . . . 
Peu d'Ev^ques s'exemterent de ce malheur, n' y ayant eu 
que ceux que leur propre bassesse faisait negliger, ou que 
leur vertu fit resister genereusement, et que Dieu conserva 
afin qu'il restdt encore quelque semence et quelque racine 
pour faire refleurir Israel." T. vi. p. 499. In St Gregory's 

own words, ttX^v oA/ywv ayav, wai/rcs tov Koipov yeyovcurL- 
Too'ovTov oXKtjXwv SieveyKOVTeSi o<rov rovs /ifv ^rpdrcpov, tovs 
Sc vcrrepov tovto iraBilv. Orat. xxi. 24. p. 401. JEd. Bened, 

(3). That ^^ general councils said what they should not 
have said, and did what obscured and compromised revealed 
truth.'* Here again the question to be determined is what 
is meant by the word " general." If I meant by " general " 
ecumenical, I should have spoken as no Catholic can speak; 
but ecumenical Councils there were none between 325 and 
381, and so I could not be referring to any; and in matter 
of fact I used the word " general '' in contrast to " ecumeni- 
cal," as I had used it in Tract No. 90, and as Bellarmine 
uses the word. He makes a fourfold division of " general 
Councils," viz., those which are approbata ; reprobata ; partim 
confirmata, partim reprobata ; and nee manifeste probata 
nee manifeste reprobata. Among the " reprobata " he placed 
the Arian Councils. They were quite large enough to be 
called " generalia ; " the twin Councils of Seleucia and Ari- 
minum numbering as many as 540 Bishops. When I spoke 
then of " general councils compromising revealed truth," I 
spoke of the Arian or Eusebian Councils, not of the Catholia 

I hope this is enough to observe on this subject. 




(Vidtsvpra,p. 2-i\.) 

As the direct object of the foregoing Volume ivas to exhibit 
the doctrine, temper, and conduct of the Arians in the fourth 
century rather than to -write their history, there is ranch 
incidental confusion in the order in which the events which 
it includes are brought before the reader. However, in 
truth, the chronology of the period is by no means clear, and 
the author may congratulate himself that, by the scope of his 
work, he is exempt from the necessity of deciding questions 
relative to it, on which ancient testimonies and modern 
critics are in hopeless variance both with themselves and 
with each other. 

Accordingly, he has chosen one authority, the accurate 
Tilleraont, and followed him almost throughout Here, 
however, he thinks it well to subjoin some tables on the 
subject, taken from the Oxford Library of the Fathers, which 
delineate the main outline of the history, while they vividly 
illustrate the difficulty of determining in detail the succession 
of dates. 

I Principal Events between A.11. 315 and a.d. jSr, 
IN Chronological Order. 

From 325 to 337. 

(Mainly from Tillmont.) 

{From June 19 to August 25.) Council of Nic.f.A, 

Arius and his partisans anathematized and banished, 



Arius to lUyricum. The Eusebians subscribe tlie 

326. Athanasius raised to the See of Alexandria at the age 

of about 30. 
328-9. Eusebius of Nicomedia in favour with Constantine. 

330. An Arian priest gains the ear of Constantine, who 

recalls Arius from exile to Alexandria. 

331. Athanasius refuses to restore him to communion. 

Eustathius deposed by the Eusebians on a charge 
of Sabellianism ; other Bishops deposed. 

334. Council of Csesarea against Athanasius, who refuses 

to attend it. 

335. Council of T)n:e and Jerusalem, in which Arius and 

the Arians are formally readmitted. Athanasius, 
forced by the emperor to attend, abruptly leaves it 
in order to appeal to Constantine. The Eusebians 
DEPOSE Athanasius, and Constantine banishes 
HIM TO Treves. 

336. Eusebians hold a Council at Constantinople to con* 

demn Marcellus on the ground of his Sabellianism ; 
and to recognize Arius. Death of Arius. 

337. Death of Constantine. The Eusebian Constan tins 

succeeds him in the East, the orthodox Constans 
and Constantine in the West. 


From 337 to 342. 




Exiles recalled by the three new Emperors. 

(End of June.) Athanasius leaves Treves for Alexandria. 

(From Baronius and 

(From ValesitiSf Schels- 
trate^ Pfigii Mont/ait- 
coHf and S. Basnage,) 

Eusebius sends to JPope 
Julius for a Councii 

Council of Alexandria 
DEFENDS Athanasius 
TO THE Pope, 

Eusebius, &c. 

Council of Alexan- 
dria DEFENDS Atha- 
nasius to the Pope. 

Papal ^ Legates sent to 
Antioch u'om Rome. 

(Early in year) Athana- 
sius goes to Rome. 

(Ftom Tittemont and 

Eusebius, &c. 

Council of Alex- 
andria, &c. 

(Sept ) A thanasius 
goes to Ronte.^ 

Papal Legates, &c. 

(End of year^ Athana- 
sins returns to A UX" 

* The events in italics are grounded on an hypothesis of the authors who 
introduce them, that Athanasius made two journeys to Rome, which they 
adopt in order to lighten the difficulties of the chronology. 


Appendix. 471 


(U«) Tb. AjtUK Gnt- 
(Mudi ~ Mar) Atsh- 


(OirisiicB or btfcn 


gf (he DcAnuk-, im- 

The IVd !.<«>» k... 


BKdiatdir bdbR or 



■fisrilK Pipi] L^ala 



A t{am^C«i^d. 


Th» Pors-s lxm% 


(Hudi « April) The 



Para's Lettutothe 


(Or btpmuBB l.«t> 
TTie Amah Gbbcukv 

Tlie Papal L^ata ar 


RoMB shonlj- aft«- Iba 

Tub PorB'6 LiTTEll TO 





From 342 to 351. 



(Mainly from Tiikmmt.) 



Council ov Antioch (Eusebian), u which die 
Macrostich is drawn up. 



Great Councii, of Sakdica, at the instance of the 
orthodox Constans. Coundl of Milan against 
Photinus. Ursacius and Valens sue for reconcilia- 
tion to the Church. 



Council of Jerusalem, at which Athanasius is present 
Alhanasius returns to Alexandria. Ursacius and 
Valens recant, and arc reconciled at Rome. 
Council at Simiium or at Rome against Pholinus. 



Death of Constans. The Eusebian Consianlius sole 

Great Council of Sirmium, at which Photinus it 

deposed. First Sirmian creed, &c 



1 '' 

,1 g 






■d' 1 






1. GbB*T CopNCILoy SlBMlUM 




s. Fhdiinus deposed 357 


358 3Sr 

J. First SinnSn Cr«d (Semi- 

' J^_ 


^.SJ^byP^'Libi^i^^'wkh "' 


a condemnation of Athanasius 3S7 




J. Coundl of Ailta (Eusebmn) , 










1 1 




mu oiler) 

1 3S6 


7. Rise of the Euaomiana 





3SS 356 35fi 






9. Counai of Btiie™. Hilary 


deposed and Immsbcd 


356 35S 3S« 




.0. FrS. Conndl or Conference 

3ST 357 





11. Second Siroda^'Criiliihybiii 

IS. Signed by Houui. but wilboot 




337, 337 


13. Signed by Liberius wiOt a 
condaniuaiion of Alhanisms. 





'*" siEned'b"uherilu wilhcon- 

ij, Council of_Anlioqli in favour 





"■tei"^*"=^ "^ " 









■ B. lis Creed (^-^j a^liii^ 



Anomaan. signed by Li- 








ig. Fresh CauncQ or Conference 




^Thi«l Sinniai:"'&4rf'(Hil 

niffan) dr»wn up by Semi- 





«: I'Sartitk Council of aV.'. 

MINUM [Homican} AND Of 


SBLeuiHA (Seaii-Ajian) 














Appendix. 473 

From 361 to 381. 

(From JtUanont.) 

;^()2. CotTNci L OF Alexandria. 

365. Council of Lampsacus (Semi-Arian or Macedonian). 

366. Macedonian Bishops reconciled to the Church at 


367. Council of Tyre for the same purpose. 
373. Death of Athanasixjs. 

381. Second Oecumenical Coxjncil at Constantinople. 

474 Appendix. 



(Vide Advertisement), 

Here follow the two sentences, which, as was stated in 
the Advertisement to this Edition, have forfeited their place 
in the text : — 

1. Supra, p. II (p. 12, ist Ed.), after " external obser- 
vers," the text proceeded. " Presenting then the characters 
of a religion, sufficiently cor ;xt in the main articles of feith 
to satisfy the reason, and yet indulgent to the carnal nature 
of man, Judaism occupied that place in the Christian world, 
which has since been filled by a corruption of Christianity 
itself While its adherents manifested a rancorous malevo- 
lence," &c. 

2. Supra, p. 393 (p. 421, ist Ed.), after "his place could 
nowhere be found," the text proceeded. " Even the Papal 
Apostasy, which seems at first sight an exception to this 
rule, has lasted but the same proportion of the whole dura- 
tion of Christianity, which Arianism occupied in its day ; 
that is, if we date it, as in fairness we ought, from the fatal 
Council of Trent And, as to the present perils/* &c